Piazzola, Maroons stymie Yellowjackets

Last Tuesday, Butte Central sophomore pitcher Teresa Piazzola gutted out a win against Anaconda despite not having her “A game.”

A week later, she had her best stuff and then some. Piazzola struck out 13 batters and scattered three hits as the Maroons topped Stevensville 5-2 in a Southwestern A game Tuesday at Copper Mountain Park.

“She’s throwing really hard,” BC coach Kelci Thatcher said of her ace, who improved to 6-3 on the season. “I just love her composure and focus on the mound. Even between innings, her and Kate (Ossello) are going over batters. She wants to be the best right now, and she’s really putting in the time and effort right now.”

Piazzola, who pitched despite having a sore shoulder last week, said she was just out of sync against the Copperheads. She had no such problems against the Yellowjackets, fanning 13 for the second time in two games against Stevi this season.

“I was getting off track a little,” Piazzola said. “I’m back on track now.”

Piazzola’s only mistake was leaving a fastball over the center of the plate for Stevi designated hitter Sam Hambrick, who belted the offering over the right-center field fence for a solo home run in the fifth.

“She was crowding the plate so I tried to throw her inside and it was just straight down the middle,” Piazzola said. “I should probably given her an outside pitch.”

The next time Hambrick came to bat, Piazzola struck her out looking for the second out of the seventh inning.

Thatcher credited Ossello, a sophomore catcher, for giving Piazzola an assist.

“Kate did a phenomenal job calling pitches,” Thatcher said. “They know each other so well, and Kate has the ability to keep Teresa calm. They both have the same mentality.”

The other run was the result of a bean ball in the first inning. Piazzola clipped Stevi pitcher Carly Vercruyssen with one out in the top of the first frame. She took third on a single by Cambrea Beller and scored on a squeeze bunt by Megan Finely.

BC second baseman McKenzie Gallagher throws to first for an out in the third inning.

BC wasted little time getting that run back.

Taylor Wahl, BC’s freshman short stop, was hit by a pitch to lead it off. After a sacrifice by senior center fielder Shelby Paffhausen, Wahl scored when Piazzola reached on an error with two outs. It was the first of five errors charged to the Yellowjackets.

The Maroons took the lead for good on an error in the second inning.

Senior left fielder Courtney Thomas walked and moved into scoring position on a bunt by sophomore second baseman McKenzie Gallagher and took third on an infield single by Wahl. Thomas scored when Paffhausen reached on an error.

Piazzola bounced a double over the fence to lead off the third inning. She scored when Corbyn Holm poked her second single of the game.

Holm scored on a throwing error after senior third baseman Rylee Green reached on an infield single, making it a 4-1 game.

Stevensville cut the lead to 4-2 on Hambrick’s blast in the fifth. BC responded with an insurance run in the sixth.

Senior pinch hitter Cassidy McGree led off the inning with a hustle double. She took third on a bunt by freshman pinch hitter Emily St. John. McGree crossed on an RBI ground out by Wahl.

Thatcher praised her team defense. In particular, Wahl and Gallagher made nice plays in up the middle. Green and freshman first baseman Mollie Peoples were solid on the corners.

Shortstop Taylor Wahl flips the ball to second for the final out of the sixth inning.

“They made some really good plays,” Thatcher said. “Taylor Wahl and Gallagher made some good stops. They’re doing a good job staying in the game when Teresa is pitching.”

The outfield — Thomas, Paffhausen and senior Mikayla Boggs — didn’t have much work to do with Piazzola dealing.

The Maroons, who play at home against Hamilton and Corvallis on Saturday, didn’t put a complete game together, Thatcher said. Like they did against the Copperheads, though, the Maroons came through.

“They found a way to win,” Thatcher said. “That’s something they have done the last two games when things have gotten tough.”

Stevensville                 100  010  0 — 2  3  5
Butte Central             112  001  x — 5  6  0

Carly Vercruyssen and Megan Finley; Teresa Piazzola and Kate Ossello. W — Piazzola (6-3). L — Vercruyssen.
STEVENSVILLE — Jenna Lockman 0-3, Vercruyssen 0-2, Cambrea Beller 1-3, Finley 1-2, Callie Lendman 0-2, Mariah Hinson 0-2, Sam Hambrick 1-3, Taylor Rauch 0-3, Madison Boesch 0-2, Makayla Davids 0-0.
BUTTE CENTRAL (7-5, 5-1) — Taylor Wahl 1-3, Shelby Paffhausen 0-3, Mollie Peoples 0-3, Piazzola 1-3, Emily St. John 0-0, Erin McGeehan 0-0, Corbyn Holm 2-3, Rylee Green 1-2, Ossello 0-3, Courtney Thomas 0-1, Cassidy McGree 1-1, McKenzie Gallagher 0-1.
HR — Hambrick.
2B — Piazzola, McGree.
RBIs — Finley, Hanbrick; Wahl, Holm.

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