Pendleton, Ind. - Butler jumped for 12 runs - including seven in the first inning alone - en route to a five-inning triumph over Loyola to advance in the Horizon League Championship on Saturday (May 9) morning at Legends Field. The Bulldogs' run in the tournament would come to an end in the next game, however, as Wright State rallied for three runs in the seventh to come away with a 5-2 decision.
A seven-run first inning gave the Bulldogs all the scoring they would need.
Paige Ashton lined a one-out single to left before Bridget Paine walked to put runners on first and second for Erin Falkenberry, who sent a deep fly to center field for her 11th homer of the season and a quick 3-0 Butler lead.
The Bulldogs proceeded to load the bases three batters later and, after the Ramblers recorded the second out on a strike out, plated another run and kept the bases jammed after the LU first baseman extended the inning with a fielding error.
Alex Boros would make the miscue hurt, driving a shot to center for a bases-clearing double to put the Bulldogs up, 7-0.
Butler extended the lead in the second, as Annie Dolan launched a three-run bomb to left center for her third homer of the year.
RBI singles by Boros and Ashton in the fourth plated two more runs and gave Butler a 12-0 lead in the contest.
Loyola responded for a run in the bottom of the fourth and chalked up three in the fifth to close to within eight, but the rally would fall far short of a comeback.
Breanna Fisher picked up her 14th win of the year, striking out two in 5.0 innings.
Boros finished with two hits and four RBI, Ashton added three hits and both Falkenberry and Dolan chipped in three RBI.
The Bulldogs had little time to celebrate, as they moved on to face Wright State in the following contest.
After four scoreless innings, Butler took a 1-0 lead in the fifth on an RBI single by Paine. The inning had a chance to be even bigger, as the Bulldogs loaded the bases with two down before the Raiders escaped further damage with a force-out at the plate.
Wright State answered in their half of the inning, scoring a pair of runs on a two-out single to take a 2-1 lead, but the Bulldogs countered with the tying run in the sixth on a solo home run by Alyssa Coleman.
A three-spot by the Raiders in the bottom of the sixth would be too much to overcome, however, as Butler's run in the league tournament came to an end.