February 17, 2011

Butler Softball Opens In Mississippi

Brummer's Blog

INDIANAPOLIS, IND. -- Butler's softball team, under first-year head coach Scott Hall, will open the 2011 season with four games at the Bulldog Round-Robin hosted by Mississippi State in Starkville, Miss., Friday-Sunday, Feb. 18-20.  The Bulldogs will face Southern Illinois at 1 p.m. (CT) in the tournament's opening game on Friday.

Hall, named Butler's head coach last summer, will be making his collegiate debut.  He came to Butler after compiling a 12-year record of 285-87 at Shenandoah High School and Pendleton Heights High School.  He coached eight conference championship teams, eight sectional championship squads and four regional championship teams.

He inherits a Butler squad that returns five starters and five of six pitchers, including All-Horizon League hurler Jenny Esparza.  The talented sophomore right-hander set Butler records for most victories (18) and strikeouts (307) in her initial season last year.  She helped Butler to a school-record 36-19 final ledger.

Hall also can look to last year's leading hitter, Erin Falkenberry, who batted .342 with eight home runs and 33 runs batted in while starting 48 games at first base.  Other returning starters are sophomore second baseman Meaghan Sullivan, senior outfielder Erin Jackson, junior infielder/outfielder Lauren McNulty, junior outfielder Jessica Huey and junior catcher Mallory Winters.  The Bulldogs also boast veteran pitchers Jennifer Chasteen (13-4, 2.00) and Breanna Fisher (5-4, 2.27).

The Bulldogs will continue tournament play on Saturday with games against Louisiana Tech at noon and host Mississippi State at 2 p.m.  Butler final opponent on Sunday will be determined following Saturday's game.  All contests will be played at the Mississippi State Softball Field.

2011 Bulldog Round-Robin

Friday, February 18
Southern Illinois vs. Butler    1 p.m.
Mississippi State vs. Louisiana Tech    3 p.m.

Saturday, February 19
Louisiana Tech vs. Southern Illinois    10 a.m.
Louisiana Tech vs. Butler    12 p.m.
Mississippi State vs. Butler    2 p.m.
Mississippi State vs. Southern Illinois    4 p.m.

Sunday, February 20
TBA vs. TBA    11 a.m.
Mississippi State vs. TBA    1 p.m.