Bulldogs Take Two In Florida

ORLANDO, FLA. -- Strong pitching performances by sophomore Jenny Esparza and senior Jennifer Chasteen lifted Butler to a pair of victories at the Rebel Games in Orlando, Fla., on Thursday, March 17.  The Bulldogs defeated Akron, 2-1 in eight innings, and then grabbed a 10-0 decision over St. Peter’s in six innings.

Esparza went the distance against Akron, holding the Zips to a single run on three hits.  The Butler right-hander finished with 10 strikeouts, while picking up the victory.

Butler took a 1-0 lead into the seventh inning, but the Zips tied the contest with a two-out single.  The teams went to the International Tie-Breaker in the eighth inning, and Butler pulled out the decision on a game-winning sacrifice fly by Lauren McNulty in the bottom of the eighth.  Kayla Gray had started the inning on second base, and she advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by Meaghan Sullivan.

Chasteen continued her dominant spring in the second game, blanking St. Peter’s on just two hits.  She had a no-hitter through the first two innings, before surrendering a single in the third.  The senior right-hander finished with seven strikeouts and extended her string of innings without allowing an earned run to 32.2.

Senior Erin Jackson and junior Jessica Huey led Butler’s offensive assault with three hits apiece.  Huey had a home run and three runs batted in, while sophomore Erin Falkenberry had a triple and three RBI’s.  Junior Rachel Brummer added a double in three trips to the plate.

The Bulldogs, who improved to 9-6 on the season and 7-1 in Florida, extended their current winning streak to five straight games.  Butler will close out the Florida trip on Friday, March 18, with games against Siena and Rider.