Valparaiso, Ind.- The Butler softball team (27-8) became the first team in school history to win 27 games in a season when they split a pair of games with league leading Valparaiso on Tuesday Apr. 3 at the V.U. Softball Field. Valparaiso (24-8) took the first of two games 3-0 behind Alex Lagesse who pitched all seven innings allowing only three hits. Butler bounced back in the second game to win their own 3-0 game. The Bulldogs were led by freshman Devin Dearing and red-shirt freshman Kayla Gray.
It was all Alex Lagesse in game one as she allowed only three hits in seven innings of work while striking out six. Valpo scored all three of their runs against Jenny Esparza with two outs in the third inning. With two outs, Ichiyama singled to left center followed by a walk for Rutkowski. Connor would clear the bases with a three run homerun down the left field line. Esparza would only allow one hit in the remainder of the game. Esparza a complete game six innings giving up three runs on three hits and striking out eight.
Butler turned the tide in game two behind the offensive production of two freshmen. Jenn Arriaga and Mellissa Shofroth both drew two out walks in the top of the fifth inning. After a pitching change Gray doubled to right center plating both Arriaga and Shofroth. The Bulldogs would add and insurance run in the sixth inning when Bridget Paine who reached on an error was sacrificed over to second by Erin Falkenberry. Dearing then singled to center field scoring Paine and giving Butler a 3-0 advantage. Three runs were more than enough for Jennifer Chasteen and Breanna Fisher who combined to blank the Crusaders. Chasteen went six scoreless innings allowing five hits and striking out four. Fisher then came in to close the game allowing no hits and striking out one in her only inning of work.
The Bulldogs will face Valpo in a rubber match at 2 p.m. on Wednesday Apr. 4 at the V.U. Softball Field. Butler is trailing the first place Crusaders by one game heading into Wednesday. Following the series final the Bulldogs will step outside of league play and return home for a doubleheader against Eastern Illinois on Thursday Apr. 5 at the Butler Softball Field.