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WHITINGHAM- Colton Butler recorded the first no-hitter of her career, striking out seven en route to a 10-2 beat-down of the Bellows Falls Terriers. It took an inning for the Twin Valley Wildcats’ offense, fielding, and pitching to coalesce Monday afternoon, but when it did, the girls in red looked unstoppable as they tallied 10 unanswered runs for their fifth victory of the season.
The first inning was not so smooth. Starting pitcher Colton Butler pitched well, but one walk and a bobbled grounder by shortstop Savannah Nesbitt put scorers on the bags for the Terriers. While the Wildcats were able to nail down two outs, a tough angle on a fly ball was too much for centerfielder Jessica Fox to handle and two runs came in. The next ball hit was almost identical, and Fox made sure to seal the third out with a big catch. Twin Valley would pepper Terrier pitcher Murphy Hicks with hits all game, but in the first frame, Murphy got the upper hand, striking out Abby Putnam with the bases loaded to strand three.
As the second inning began, the Wildcats took over, as two straight, one-two-three-out innings by Butler and the Wildcat defense were complemented by four runs. Hicks would strand three more Twin Valley base runners in the bottom of the third to try to keep the Terriers in the game, but Butler answered with two more strikeouts, catching two straight Terrier batters looking, as the Bellows Falls bench tried to psych her with chants. Butler, and the Wildcats, would not be distracted as they tagged one more run in the fourth inning on a Savannah Nesbitt RBI double, followed by five runs in the fifth, including four on RBIs from Abby Putnam and Christina Moore.
Nesbitt led the Wildcats with two hits and three RBIs.
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CHESTER- Twin Valley and Green Mountain found themselves in a tug of war Wednesday night, and two extra innings would be needed to settle the score. While Colton Butler pitched another gem for the Wildcats, the Chieftains would finally break the tie with two outs left in the bottom of the eighth for a 2-1 win.
Two days after throwing the first no-hitter of her career against Bellows Falls, Butler was at it again, striking out four, allowing four hits, and scattering six walks over eight innings. Green Mountain managed a run in the bottom of the fifth, but Twin Valley’s Kaylea Niles would respond in the sixth, scoring Twin Valley’s only run off a Hannah Swanson double. With two outs and a runner on second in the bottom of the eighth, the Chieftains managed to knock home the run they needed and get the win.
“This was the first game where we played really good defense on the road,” said manager Aaron Wood. “The defense keeps coming around, and it was nice to see we only had two errors. Colton has been a game changer for us as well, so we need to keep throwing strikes and play good defense.”
Twin Valley sits at 5-7 on the season and has a tough schedule ahead, as Division II and III teams dot their final four games of the season. But Wood said that his team is the best team in Division IV, and is ready to face challenges before the playoffs.
Twin Valley plays Woodstock at home on Friday at 4:30.