Pendleton, Ind. - A six-run fifth inning by the Bulldogs busted open what had been a closely-contested game against Youngstown State, as Butler rolled to an 8-1 decision in the first round of the Horizon League Softball Championship on Thursday (May 7) afternoon at Legends Field.
With the win, the fifth-seeded Bulldogs (24-26) will move on to face No. 2 seed Cleveland State on Thursday at 6:00 p.m.
A first-inning run by Youngstown State - coming on a solo home run by Kristina Rendle - would be the only scoring for the Penguins in the contest, as starting pitcher Breanna Fisher scattered four hits in the final six innings en route to the complete-game victory.
The Butler offense, meanwhile, brought the contest back to even in the second on an RBI double to right center by Lauren McNulty before taking the lead in fourth on another RBI hit by McNulty.
The Bulldogs would put the game out of reach an inning later, erupting for six runs on seven hits while taking advantage of a couple YSU miscues in the field to go ahead, 8-1.
The hit parade continued, as Alex Boros followed with a single to center before moving to third on a double by Bridget Paine. Both players came in to score after the Youngstown State second baseman mishandled a grounder by Erin Falkenberry to give Butler a 6-1 edge.
McNulty returned to the plate two batters later and delivered another RBI hit. Her base running added to the offense later, as she drew an errant throw from the catcher while stealing second that allowed Jen Arriaga to sprint home from third with the final run of the contest.
McNulty finished with a 3-for-4 performance at the plate and three RBI, while Boros chipped in two hits and two runs scored. Paine also posted a two-hit performance, Falkenberry scored twice and Ashton added two RBI.
Fisher went the distance for the Bulldogs, striking out five and walking two in seven innings of work.