Undefeated Eagles victimize mistake-prone Bulldogs

By Bruce Sayler

Undefeated Missoula Big Sky certainly didn’t need the help, but Butte High presented the Eagles plenty of it anyway.
Big Sky beat the error-prone Bulldogs 23-3 in four innings Tuesday during Western AA Conference high school girls’ softball play at Stodden Park.
The 15-run difference rule shortened the game.
“They’re a really good team,” Butte High head coach Ryan Stosich said of the veteran-loaded Eagles. “And, it all imploded a bit or us. It did.”
The fourth inning was brutal for the Bulldogs they relinquished 12 runs while committing four errors and issuing four walks and hitting a batter. Big Sky knocked four hits in the frame, including a three-run home run by Grace Hood, a two-run double by Syerra Peterson and a two-run single by Irene Griswold.
Butte High put together a good hitting game. The Bulldogs stacked eight hits in four innings with Ashlinn Mullaney’s two-run blast keying their three-run third inning. Gracie Ferriter belted a double and a single, Mullaney also singled, Ashby Lee rapped a pair of singles, and Madisyn Swanson and Taylor Drakos each punched a base hit.
“We hit OK,” Stosich said. “We were just making some mistakes on the field. When you’re giving teams five or six outs an inning, you’re not going to win any games.”
The Eagles have seven seniors on their roster and they’re abilities and experience showed, also showing why they own a season record of 9-0-1 and a conference mark of 7-0. The only blemish is an early season 2-all tie with Billings Senior.
Five errors and nine walks gifted by Butte High over the course of the game benefitted the Big Sky offense.
Big Sky staked itself to a 5-0 lead in its first at-bats. Brooke Schaffer smacked the first of her two home runs and the first of the Eagles’ four round-trippers in the game. Kyler Latrielle was aboard via a walk. Four batters later, Peterson cranked a three-run homer out over the fence in left-center.
Ferriter, Butte High’s first batter, singled to left field to lead off the Bulldogs’ first inning. However, Eagles ace Liberty Rogers retired the next three hitters.
Big Sky notched another five runs in the second inning. A two-run double by Sadie McGuinn with the bases loaded and a two-run single by Myleagh Kukay were the big hits. Schaffer also banged out a run-scoring single. McGuinn has Butte roots, including being the granddaughter of late Butte Sports Hall of Fame baseball coach Jim Hanley. Her dad, Joe, was a Butte Miners American Legion baseball pitcher.
The Eagles registered eight hits over the first two innings.
Schaffer swatted a solo home run in the third before Butte High had its best inning. The Bulldogs scored three times, starting with Ferriter’s double setting up Mullaney’s mash over the center-field fence. It was Mullaney’s second dinger of the year.
Swanson singled up the middle after Kamber Leary reached on an error. An out later, Drakos drilled a single into left field to fill the bags. A fielder’s choice saw Leary forced out at the plate, but Lee’s short looper fell just out of reach of lunging Big Sky shortstop Griswold. The infield hit allowed Swanson to score. A groundout ended the inning.
Butte High fell to 1-8 with the loss, 1-6 in conference games. The Bulldogs are next scheduled to play on Thursday in a nonconference 3 p.m. game against Eastern AA member Great Falls High at Stodden Park.
Big Sky 551 (12)xx x – 23 13 0
Butte High 003 ( 0)xx x — 3 8 5
Liberty Rogers and Grace Hood. Ashlinn Mullaney, Kamber Leary (3) and Gracie Ferriter. W – Rogers. L – Mullaney (1-7).
MISSOULA BIG SKY (9-0-1, 7-0) – Kyler Latrielle 0-3, Grace Hood 2-5, Brooke Schaffer 3-5, Delaney Laird 1-2, Briella Wilson 0-0, Logan Baack 0-2, Logan Latrielle 0-0, Sadie McGuinn 3-4, Syerra Peterson 2-3, Aubrey Bykari 0-0, Myleagh Kukay 1-1, Irene Griswold 1-3.
BUTTE HIGH (1-8, 1-6) – Gracie Ferriter 2-2, Reese Johnson 0-0, Ashlinn Mullaney 2-3, Kamber Leary 0-3, Madisyn Swanson 1-3, Mattie Stepan 0-3, Taylor Drakos 1-2, Gracie Jonart 0-1, Ashby Lee 1-2, Dacelyn LaFond 0-0, Allie Becker 0-0, Hailey Skeel 0-2.
Extra-base hits – 2B – Hood, McGuinn, Peterson, Ferriter. HR – Schaffer 2, Peterson, Hood, Mullaney (2).
Runs batted in – Big Sky 21 (Peterson 5, Schaffer 4, Hood 3, McGuinn 3, Kukay 2, Griswold 2, K. Latrielle 1, Baack 1), Butte High 3 (Mullaney 2, Lee 1).