Rangers jump out early, top Maroons

The Maroons dug themselves too big of a hole Thursday afternoon.

Butte Central’s softball team saw the Park High Rangers from Livingston jump out to a 7-0 lead and hold on for an 11-5 non-conference win at Copper Mountain Park.

Every Park batter had at least one hit in Livingston’s 15-hit attack as the Rangers kept finding the holes while the Maroons struggled getting hits at the right time.

“They were able to string together hits,” BC coach Kelci Thatcher said after her team fell to 2-2 on the season. “That’s something this year I don’t think we’ve done really well. We haven’t had four or five hits in a row. Consistently, we’re just not where I want us to be.”

Thatcher pointed to the eight runners the Maroons left stranded on the day.

“That’s huge,” she said. “We’ve got to be consistent every single time we have base runners to at least move them.”

A two-run double by Meadow Ingram highlighted Livingston’s four-run second inning.

Park catcher Cassidy Versland hit a rocket into the wind for a two-run home run to make it 7-0 in the third.

Butte Central didn’t pitch emerging star pitcher Teresa Piazzola because Thatcher said she’s working on pitching depth. Senior Taylor Marthaller started and junior Mikayla Boggs came in during the third inning. Both saw action in the pitchers’ circle for the first time this season.

Boggs settled down and put together two solid innings before the Rangers got to her with a series of seeing-eye singles in a four-run sixth inning that put the game away.

Versland hit a two-run single in that inning. She ended the day with a 3-for-4, four-RBI performance. Hailey Verland also smacked three hits for the Rangers.

The Maroons smacked 11 hits in the loss.

Senior catcher Shannon McLaughlin went 3 for 4 with a double and an RBI. Boggs went 2 for 3, while freshman Shawnee Hjelt doubled.

Hannah Stajcar, Aleesha LaBreche, Shelby Paffhausen, Marthaller and Piazzola all singled.

The Maroons are back in action Monday when they play host to Hamilton.

BC takes on Anaconda in Butte on Tuesday.

Thatcher said her team will improve as it gets more games under its belt.

“We’ll be all right,” she said. “We have two big conference games Monday and Tuesday.”

Livingston                142  040  0 — 11   14  2
Butte Central           003  002  0 —  5    11  1

Haley Dowdell and Cassidy Versland; Taylor Marthaller, Mikayla Boggs (2), Teresa Piazzola (6) and Shannon McLaughlin. W — Dowdell. L — Marthaller (0-1).
LIVINGSTON — Meghan Gibson 1-3, Jacey Schleicher 2-5, Dowdell 1-2, Meadow Ingram 2-4,, Hailey Versland 3-5, Katie Lynn Kraus 1-3, C. Versland 3-4, Sierra Higgs 2-4, Alexander Schaeffer 1-3.
BUTTE CENTRAL (2-2) — Danika Neumann 0-4, Hannah Stajcar 1-4, McLaughlin 3-4, Katie Hogart 0-3, Marthaller 1-3, Boggs 2-3, Aleesha LaBreche 1-3, Kate Ossello 0-1, Shawnee Hjelt 1-3, Shelby Paffhausen 1-2, Piazzola 1-1.
HR — C. Versland. 2B — Ingram, Higgs; McLaughlin, Hjelt. RBIs — C. Versland 4, Ingram 2, Schleicher, Dowdell, Higgs, Schaeffer;  McLaughlin, Marthaller, Piazzola.