GREAT FALLS – It’s been seven years since the Butte softball team last beat the Great Falls CMR Rustlers, but on Tuesday the Bulldogs notched not one but two wins over the defending State AA champs.
Kaidy McClafferty struck out 13 batters in seven innings of work in a 5-3 extra innings win in game one. Madi Moore started the game for the Rustlers but struggled with control, allowing Butte to take a 2-0 lead in the first inning before she was pulled for Teagan Taylor.
Butte led 3-2 entering the bottom of the seventh inning when Moore blasted a leadoff home run to tie the game at three. With two on and no outs, McClafferty caught a liner and made the throw to first for a double play to end the threat and send the game to extra innings.
Butte added two runs in the eighth inning to hold on for a 5-3 win.
In game two, CMR took a 1-0 lead after the first inning before Butte exploded for six runs in the third. The Rustlers would add two more runs in the fourth to cut the lead to 6-3, but another offensive outburst produced seven Bulldog runs in the fifth inning and the Bulldogs 10-run ruled CMR 13-3 in five innings for the two game sweep.
McClafferty would earn the win on the mound with seven strikeouts. Across both games, McClafferty allowed just four earned runs in 13 innings.
Butte (8-2, 4-1) will head to Kalispell for a doubleheader with Glacier on Saturday, while CMR (2-3) will face road contests with Billings Skyview and Billings Senior.