BLOOMINGTON, IND. -- Butler’s softball squad, returning from a successful trip in Florida, ran into a red-hot pitcher and wound falling twice to Indiana in a doubleheader at the IU Softball Field on Tuesday (March 22). The Hoosiers took a 4-2 decision in the first game and then captured the second contest, 4-3.
Indiana’s Morgan Melloh was dominant on the mound in the twinbill. She stuck out 17 batters in the first game and then came back to strike out 14 in the nightcap. The lefthanded ace already has 233 strikeouts on the year!
"We faced one of the better pitchers we’ll see all year," said Butler head coach Scott Hall. "But we were right there at the end with a chance to win both games."
The Hoosiers (18-12) scored late to pull out both games. Freshman Meaghan Murphy slugged a two-out, walk-off home run to lead Indiana to the victory in the opener. The Hoosiers then scored in the bottom of the sixth inning of the second game to break a 3-3 tie and complete the sweep.
Butler (11-8) came back from a 2-0 first inning deficit in the first game to tie the game on solo home runs by Jessica Huey in the second inning and Meaghan Sullivan in the sixth. But Murphy broke the deadlock with her two-run shot off of Jennifer Chasteen (6-2) in the seventh. The two runs were the first earned runs Chasteen has allowed this spring.
The Bulldogs also rallied in the second game and tied the contest with three runs in the fifth inning. Sullivan had a run-scoring double in the inning, and she scored on a throwing effort to tie the game. Indiana went back on top in the sixth on a run-scoring single by Kelsey Stander.
Sullivan paced Butler’s offense on the day with four hits in six trips to the plate. She had a double, a home run and two RBI’s in the twinbill.
"Meaghan was on fire all day," praised Hall.
"But we didn’t put the ball in play as well as we should have," added the Butler coach.
Sophomore Jenny Esparza allowed just two earned runs on five hits, while striking out five in the nightcap, but she fell to 3-4 on the season.
Butler will play its 2011 home opener against Indiana State on Thursday, March 24. The single game at the newly-renovated Butler Softball Field will start at 3 p.m.