Butler Eliminated From Horizon League Tournament

CLEVELAND, OHIO -- Fifth-seeded Green Bay scored two runs with two outs in the bottom of the seven inning and defeated Butler, 3-2, in an elimination game the 2010 Horizon League Softball Championship at Viking Field on Friday (May 14).

With runners on first and second, two outs and a 3-2 count, Green Bay pitcher Katie Cooney hit a short pop-up into left field.  The ball was dropped and both runners scored to give the Phoenix (27-19) a dramatic come-from-behind victory.  Green Bay advances in the tournament to meet Valparaiso.

Cooney and Butler freshman Jenny Esparza both turned in an outstanding performance.  Cooney allowed just four hits, while striking out nine.  She defeated the Bulldogs for the fourth time in 10 days.  Esparza gave up just five hits and fanned eight.

Green Bay jumped in front, 1-0, in the bottom of the third inning on an infield single by Krissy Hanson, and that’s the way the score remained until the sixth inning.

Pinch-hitter Alyssa Coleman led of the sixth for the Bulldogs with a walk, and following a sacrifice bunt by Lauren McNulty, senior Annie Dolan laced a double down the left field line.  Senior Bridget Paine followed with a triple to right field, scoring pinch-runner Jen Arriaga and Dolan and giving Butler a 2-1 lead.

Esparza (18-11) walked the lead-off batter in the bottom of the seventh and then gave up a single to Melani Niederer with one out.  But the Butler right-hander struck out Danielle Peerenboom, and she had two strikes on Cooney, before the error ended the game.

Butler finished the season with a school-record 36 wins against 19 setbacks.