Bulldogs Fall In Season-Opener To Southern Illinois

STARKVILLE, MISS. -- Reigning Missouri Valley Conference Pitcher of the Year Danielle Glosson tossed a one-hitter and led Southern Illinois to a 7-0 victory over Butler in the opening game of the 2011 Bulldog Round-Robin hosted by Mississippi State on Friday (Feb. 18).  It was Butler’s first game of the 2011 season.

Glosson, who had eight shutouts a year ago, was in control throughout.  She allowed just one hit and struck out eight, while improving to 2-1 on the young season.

The Salukis (4-2) scored twice off of Butler starter Jenny Esparza (0-1) in the third inning to gain early control of the contest.  Two walks and a bunt single loaded the bases with no outs, and Southern Illinois scored the game’s first run on an error on a failed pick-off attempt and then added a second run on a sacrifice fly.

The defending Missouri Valley Conference champs then padded the margin with five runs  on five hits and one Butler error in the fourth inning.  The big blow of the rally was a two-run, home run to left-center field by Jayna Spivey.

Butler’s Erin Falkenberry broke up Glosson’s no-hit bid with a single to right field in the sixth inning.

Esparza, who had a school-record 18 wins a year ago, allowed six earned runs on six hits in three-and-a-third innings of work.  She struck out seven in her initial outing.  Junior Breanna Fisher allowed two hits and no runs in two-and-a-third innings of work, while senior Jennifer Chasteen blanked the Salukis in the final inning.

The Bulldogs surrendered 10 walks and committed three errors in the opener.

Butler will continue play in the four-team tournament on Saturday, Feb. 19.  The Bulldogs will face Louisiana Tech at noon and then play host Mississippi State at 2 p.m.