Butler Drops Two Games At Notre Dame

NOTRE DAME, IND. -- Butler ran into a pair of strong pitching performances and wound up dropping two games in a non-league doubleheader at Notre Dame on Thursday, April 7.  The Fighting Irish took the opener, 5-0, and then captured a 6-1 decision in the second game.

Notre Dame’s Joey Valdivia allowed just two hits and pitched a complete-game shutout in the opener.  Valdivia had 14 strikeouts in the win and just two walks in the victory.

The Fighting Irish jumped in front in the second inning on Alexia Clay’s three-run home run off of Butler starter Jenny Esparza (6-5).  The host squad added two more runs in the fifth inning on a run-scoring triple by Brianna Jorgensborg and a single by Heather Johnson.

Jessica Huey’s leadoff double in the second inning and Meaghan Sullivan’s single in the sixth inning were Butler’s lone hits off of Valdivia.

Notre Dame (24-7) then used three pitchers to hold the Bulldogs to a single run in the nightcap.  The Bulldogs jumped in front in the third inning on Huey’s run-scoring single, but that wound up as Butler’s lone tally in the twinbill.  Notre Dame scored a single run in the bottom of the third to tie the game and then went ahead with a single run in the fifth frame.  The Fighting Irish added four runs in the sixth inning.

Laura Winter, who blanked the Bulldogs over three innings of relief work, picked up the win for the Irish, while Butler’s Breanna Fisher was tagged with the loss.  Fisher pitched an inning and two-thirds in relief of starter Jennifer Chasteen.

Junior Lauren McNulty had two of Butler’s six hits in the contest, while Sullivan had a hit and scored the Bulldogs’ lone run.  Huey, senior Erin Jackson and junior Erin Falkenberry also hit safely in the game.

The Bulldogs (18-13) will return to Horizon League action with a three-game series at home against Cleveland State on Saturday and Sunday.  The doubleheader on Saturday (April 9) will start at 1 p.m. (ET) at the Butler Softball Field.