After five outs of play, the home plate umpire inspected the pitcher’s mound and discovered that the two teams were using the mound that is typically used for 12-year-olds.
The mound is about four feet closer to home plate than the mound used for girls’ high school softball, so the teams had to nix the first inning and start the game over. Anaconda held a 2-0 lead in the game that didn’t count and pitcher Brooke Chapman was off to a perfect start with two strikeouts.
The restart didn’t go the way the Butte Central Maroons hoped as Anaconda rang up a 26-5 conference win in five innings at the Copper Mountain Softball Complex.
The Copperheads opened the game that counted with their first seven batters scoring runs in the first inning.
The Maroons looked to be taking some of the momentum away in the bottom of the first as they scored five runs.
Hannah Stajcar connected on a three-run double during the inning. Mikayla boggs followed that with a two-run single. She was thrown out at second base and that ended the inning.
The Copperhead offense put up two runs in the second inning, then broke loose for an 11-run third inning, which was more than enough to seal the win.
Chapman took over on the mound for Anaconda as she allowed just one hit and one walk during the last four innings.
The Copperheads had a number of impressive performances at the plate.
Catcher Courtney Moodry, centerfielder Lauren Bolton and third baseman Ali Forkan all finished with 5 RBIs.
See BLAST, Page 6B
Moodry, Anaconda’s leadoff hitter, had four hits in the first three innings of play.
Bolton smashed a three-run home run over the center field fence in the third inning to cap off a nine-run, two-out rally.
Forkan nearly homered for the second time in a week as she had a long ball soar into the fence for a three-run double.
The Copperhead bats were alive and well. On the other side of the field, the Maroons couldn’t get any momentum at the plate after the first inning.
“There’s not much to say. We just got beat,” Butte Central coach Jim Patrick said. “They just hit the ball better than us.”
Anaconda coach Dotsie Lucier felt that starting the game over inspired her team’s effort at the plate.
“We had that incentive of having to start over,” she said. “They wanted to make sure they came to play.”
Anaconda also had hits from Karli King, Brooke Chapman, Abby Stanberry and Delanie Chapman. Every player in the lineup scored for the team.
The Maroon offense was paced by Danika Neumann, who collected two of her team’s five hits.
Other Butte Central players with hits included Stajcar, Taylor Marthaller and Boggs.
At certain points in the game it looked like the mound change may have affected the pitchers. Marthaller gave up two runs in the false start, then after the change she gave up seven runs in the second first inning.
Some of Chapman’s pitches were coming in short for much of the first inning of the redo as Central was able to take advantage for some runs.
What may have happened to the mounds was that the field had been dragged to clear it of rocks before the game and the wrong mound was left exposed. The two teams stalled for about a half hour as they called Montana High School Association director Mark Beckman to see what the appropriate action would be with the game.
After the game, neither coach Patrick or coach Lucier said they had ever seen a game played on the wrong mound. On occasion, games sometimes start with first base in the wrong place, so Monday was a pretty unique situation for most fans in attendance.
The Maroons honored seniors Angela Piazzola and Carlee Norbeck before the game. The two made fielding contributions for their team Monday.
Looking forward, the Maroons have a big game against Stevensville Tuesday.
“We have to win against Stevensville,” Patrick said.
Central fell to 3-4 in conference play and will probably need a win against Stevensville to keep their hopes of playing in the state tournament alive.
Anaconda will face one of the better teams in the state Tuesday with a non-conference game at Belgrade.
Coach Lucier hopes to see her team keep its momentum going after the Monday win.
“These girls came to play,” she said. “We’re hoping now we can stay with that until we finish the season.”
Anaconda improved to 5-2 in conference and 11-7 overall with Monday’s win.
Anaconda 72(11) 60 — 26 15 0
Butte Central 500 00 — 5 5 5
Brooke Chapman and Courtney Moodry. Taylor Marthaller, Hannah Stajcar, Marthaller and Katie Hogart.
ANACONDA (5-2, 11-7) — Moodry 4-6, Karli King 1-3, B. Chapman 2-4, Lauren Bolton 2-3, Abby Stanberry 1-1, Ali Forkan 3-5, Delanie Chapman 2-4, Hannah Anderson 0-2, Julia Peterson 0-2.
BUTTE CENTRAL (3-4, 8-13) — Danika Neumann 2-3, Hogart 0-2, Angela Piazzola 0-3, Shannon McLaughlin 0-2, Stajcar 1-1, Marthaller 1-2, Shelby Paffhausen 0-2, Mikayla Boggs 1-2, Carlee Norbeck 0-2.
2B — Moodry, Stanberry, Forkan; Stajcar. HR — Bolton. RBI — Moodry 5, Bolton 5, Forkan 5, B. Chapman, Stanberry, D. Chapman; Stajcar 3, Boggs 2.