Beavs win softball thriller and chiller

M.P. Regan
Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Beaverhead High School Head Coach Andrea Schurg has been around softball as a player and coach just about her whole life.

But had she ever seen a game quite like the one her Beavers played on Saturday in Dillon?

“I would say, ‘No,” laughed Schurg, of the Lady Beavs’ exciting and eccentric 13-10, come-from-behind victory over East Helena on Saturday.

Contested on the softball field behind Dillon Middle School, the game featured a little bit of a lot of things, a moderate portion of much, and a whole bunch of great plays and thrills, plus chills, dis-courtesy of enough weather shifts to fill an entire spring—and late winter.

“It was back and forth until the fifth inning, when we took the lead for good,” said Schurg of her team’s fight back following a particularly challenging top of the fourth frame.

”That was the most mental toughness this team has shown to date,” said Schurg of her players unfailing composure and resolve on Saturday.

“That one long inning, when we got snowed on and rained on and hailed on and the wind just came out of nowhere, and we were in the field for what felt like an hour,” recalled Shurg of her team’s long defensive stand during the top of the fourth inning, when the Vigilantes stormed back to score five runs and take a 7-6 lead.

“But we got ourselves out of that and fought back,” said Schurg, whose team responded with four runs of its own in the bottom of the fourth to take the lead back for good, in its second come-from-behind surge of the game.

“So, I am super proud of their mental toughness.”

Adyson Creighton proved tough enough to start the game on the mound, and finish there, vacating the mound for a few innings after the Vigilantes began catching up to the formidable freshman’s fastball.

“She has got so much potential, she is going to be a stud. We are working on her stamina and consistency, and that will come with time,” said Schurg of the young, hard-throwing phenom.

“But we are fortunate to have two other freshman upand comers in Tyler Gibson and Katey Vezina eager to get time on the mound,” said Schurg of two pitchers who spelled effective relief for the Beavs on Saturday.

“The differences in their pitching speed and style can really mess with a team,” said Schurg of her varied trio of hurlers, each offering different challenges to opponents.

“It’s hard on hitters. So, we are taking advantage of the differences in their pitching styles. Katey has a natural drop pitch we are super excited about,” said Schurg of a pitch that behaves like a split-finger fastball in baseball, plummeting suddenly as it crosses the plate, stunning hitters.

“Once she puts more time in, in the offseason, she is going to be really tough to hit.”

Adyson’s sister Kinzy Creighton starred behind the plate and at the plate for Dillon, where the Dillon catcher went 3 for 4, with 3 RBIs and 3 runs scored—and two home runs—one a rare, inside-thepark job, beautifully stroked to the opposite-field down the right-field line, so low and hard and well placed, it looked like a Phil Mickelson one-iron heading for its premeditated destination. She also blasted a fastball off the centerfield fence, two feet from clearing it for another home run, in the first inning.

“Kinzy is hitting the ball so well right now,” said Schurg of Creighton, who also blasted a pair of homers in the Beavs first-ever win over Hamilton earlier this season.

A number of other Beavs contributed on offense, where Abby and Lexi Johnston combined for four RBIs, Gibson scored three runs, and Adyson Creighton, Vezina and Emily Brevig each scored two runs.

“Most of our runs were scored with two outs. We call ourselves the two-out rally team,” smiled Schurg of her Beavs, who scored many of their runs through opportunistic work on the basepaths.

“That is something else we have been working on every day—head’s up baserunning and taking advantage of other team’s mistakes. We are getting our girls to be more and more aggressive and confident in our base runnning. We call it manufacturing runs. And we are trying to get better at preventing other teams from manufacturing runs against us,” said Schurg, whose team lost a late lead at East Helena in April, but gained a dose of revenge Saturday against the Vigilantes.

“I think our players went into this game with a chip on their shoulders. We felt like we lost a game that we should have won in East Helena, so our players were eager to get that one back on our home field, and they did.”

The BCHS softball team played yesterday at Stevensville in a game that wrapped up after the Dillon Tribune went to press. See next week’s Tribune for a recap of that game, as well as today’s game at Butte Central, and the Beavs’ weekend contests at the Laverne Combo tourney in Butte.