Mullaney bombs lead Bulldogs in rout of Raptors

By Bruce Sayler 

 Freshman Ashlinn Mullaney pitched a four-hitter later in the day, but in Butte High’s first softball game Tuesday, she enjoyed her favorite on-the-diamond endeavor. 

“I probably like hitting better,” she said after slugging her fifth and sixth home runs of the season, a pair of three-run jacks, in a 17-6 Bulldog blowout of Bozeman’s Gallatin High School at Stodden Park.  

Later in the day, the Bulldogs belted Bozeman High 7-2 for their last non-conference game of the season. 

Mullaney’s six runs batted in led a Butte High offense that backed junior pitcher Rian Ferriter’s six-hitter as the Bulldogs won early, scoring a five-inning victory on the 10-run difference rule. Ferriter provided three hits and an RBI while helping her own cause. 

“Both were fastballs, I think,” she said with a hit-’em-where-they’re–pitched shrug and outlook. “Getting two wins today is what was important.” 

She seemed matter-of-fact in attitude about her performances in both games as she added, “My pitching could’ve been better, but it wasn’t horrible.” 

Her coach shined the light a little brighter. 

“Ashlinn had some big hits in the first game,” Ryan Stosich said. “And, I thought Rian did a pretty decent job pitching.  

“We started putting some hits together, too, and showed what we can do with two outs.” 

Ferriter posted six strikeouts and allowed three walks in her five innings in the circle. 

Offensive action started immediately for Butte High. Ferriter gave up a harmless infield hit in the first inning and the Bulldogs roared for five runs in their half of the frame for an early advantage. 

Senior shortstop Kodie Hoagland led off with a bunt single and Mullaney, center fielder in the first game, worked a walk off Gallatin starter and fellow freshman Addie Bleile. Rian Ferriter’s single to left was misplayed in the outfield and both Hoagland and Mullaney scored. It gave Butte High a lead it never relinquished. 

Sophomore third baseman Kamber Leary lined an infield hit hard off Bleile’s arm. The Raptor hurler was checked by a trainer and stayed in the game. After a strikeout, freshman first baseman Madisyn Swanson singled courtesy runner Dacelyn LaFond home. LaFond was running for Ferriter. Senior left fielder Joscelyn Cleveland reached on a fielder’s choice that erased Swanson at second base for Butte High’s second out. Leary then raced home on a wild pitch and Cleveland sped home as junior second baseman Bryn Godbout was safe on an infield hit. 

Braxton Gray doubled to start the Gallatin second inning and Ady Ryles walked. Both came home an out later as Makyah Albrecht singled and the hit got past the outfielder. The difference was cut to 5-2. 

Butte High used its ups in the second to plate four runs and increase its advantage to 9-2. Hoagland led off, but was out on an interference call when she collided with Raptor first baseman Maddie Coleman, who was in the baseline trying to catch a popup. Mullaney and Ferriter both singled to left and Leary hammered a double down the left-field line. Mullaney scored on the two-bagger. LaFond, running for Ferriter, then came home on a single by sophomore catcher Natalie Lynch, subbed in for senior Jordyn Bolton, who had suffered an ankle injury. Leary later dashed home on a wild pitch and Lynch got home as Cleveland batted into a fielder’s choice. 

Gallatin put up its last four runs in the third inning, closing the gap to 9-6. The Bulldogs committed three errors in the inning to the Raptors’ benefit. Two runs scored on errors and the other two came in on wild pitches. The only hits of the half-inning were a double by freshman catcher Kelly Coon and a single by Ryles, a freshman right fielder. 

The Bulldogs wrapped up the win with four runs in each the third and fourth innings while Ferriter shut the Raptors out the rest of the way until the score disparity brought the end to the game.  

In the Butte High third, freshman right fielder Brityn Stewart led off reaching base on an error. Hoagland beat out an infield hit and Mullaney launched a pitch over the fence in left-center field. Then, Ferriter singled to left and her courtesy runner, LaFond, scored three batters later as Lynch was safe on an infield hit. 

The fourth saw Godbout lead off with a single, then score on back-to-back singles hit by Stewart and Hoagland. Mullaney crashed her second three-run homer. Junior Rhianna Ashcraft relieved Bleile in the pitcher’s circle and got out of the inning. 

Butte High had its 17-6 margin going into the top of the fifth inning and Ferriter worked around a one-out single by Ryles to end the game with two flyball outs. 

Gallatin          024   00x   x —   6    6   5 
Butte High      544   4xx   x — 17  16   4
Addie Bleile, Rhianna Ashcraft (4) and Kelly Coon. Rian Ferriter and Jordyn Bolton, Natalie Lynch (2). W – Ferriter. L – Bleile.
BOZEMAN GALLATIN (2-10) — Parker Stevens 0-2, Maddie Coleman 0-3, Kelly Coon 2-3, Addie Bleile 0-3, Braxton Gray 1-3, Ady Ryles 2-2, Shayla Clark 0-3, Makyah Albrecht 1-2, Kaycee Taylor 0-0, Kodi Karo 0-2, Rhianna Ashcraft 0-0.
BUTTE HIGH (7-8) — Kodie Hoagland 3-4, Ashlinn Mullaney 2-3, Rian Ferriter 3-4, Dacelyn LaFond 0-0, Kamber Leary 2-4, Jordyn Bolton 0-1, Natalie Lynch 2-2, Madisyn Swanson 1-4, Joscelyn Cleveland 0-3, Bryn Godbout 2-3, Brityn Stewart 1-3.
Extra-base hits – 2B – Gray, Coon, Leary. HR – Mullaney 2.
Runs batted in – Gallatin 2 (Ryles, Albrecht), Butte High 13 (Mullaney 6, Swanson 3, Ferriter 1, Leary 1, Lynch 1, Godbout 1).