Bulldogs Beat Louisiana Tech In Mississippi

STARKVILLE, MISS. -- Junior Erin Falkenberry slugged a two-run, home run and freshman Leah Bry turned in a clutch seventh-inning pitching performance to lift Butler to 5-3 victory over Louisiana Tech on the final day of the 2011 Bulldog Round-Robin in Starkville, Miss.  The win was the first for new Butler head coach Scott Hall.

“We played better today, and I told the team after the game, we got better each game down here, and that was our goal,” said Hall.

With Butler clinging to a 5-3 lead, Louisiana Tech (3-6) opened the bottom of the seventh inning with back-to-back singles.  Hall went to the bullpen and brought in Bry for just her second collegiate appearance.  The first-year righthander retired the first batter she faced with a pop-up, but then walked Heather Doiron, who had two hits and scored two runs on the day, to load the bases.  

Bry got Molly Goza on an infield fly, but then had to face Cassie Krieg, who was three for three on the day.  The Butler pitcher wasted no time in getting Krieg to fly out to left-center field, earning her first collegiate save.

“(Leah) was terrific,” said Hall after the game.  “She came in and was completely unfazed by the situation.  She just went out and did her job.”

Butler (1-3) came from behind twice in the game with a pair of two run rallies.  Falkenberry gave the Bulldogs a 2-1 lead in the top of third inning with a two-run shot over the left-center field fence.  It was her first home run this season and the 20th of her Butler career.

Then, after Louisiana Tech tied the game with a single run in the fourth inning, the Bulldogs went in front for good with two runs in the top of the fifth.  Erin Jackson opened the inning with a double down the left field line and, with one out, scored on a single by Lauren McNulty.  The Butler leftfielder then stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch.  She scored on a sacrifice bunt by Devin Dearing.

Both teams scored a single run in the sixth inning, Butler’s coming on a passed ball.

Junior Breanna Fisher started the game on the mound for the Bulldogs, and she allowed just two runs, while striking out four, in three-and-a-third innings of work.  Senior Jennifer Chasteen gave up one run in relief in two-and-two-thirds innings and picked up the win, before giving way to Bry in the seventh inning.

Jackson had two of Butler’s six hits off of Louisiana Tech starter Meghan Krieg (1-3).  The Tech righthander finished with 12 strikeouts.

Falkenberry and Bry both were named to the All-Tournament Team, following the meet’s final game.

The Bulldogs will have short break before heading to Tennessee to play in the Lady Bison Classic, hosted by Lipscomb, March 4-6.