April 11, 2011

Jenny Esparza Named League Pitcher of the Week

INDIANAPOLIS, IND. -- Butler sophomore Jenny Esparza, who turned in a record-breaking performance during a successful week has been named Horizon League Softball Pitcher of the Week for the week beginning April 4.  It’s the first time she’s earned the league’s weekly honor this season.

Esparza was the winning pitcher in three of Butler’s four victories during the week, including a school-record 16-inning performance against Cleveland State.  She had 36 strikeouts in 35 innings of work and allowed just five earned runs during the seven-day stretch.  

The Butler righthander began the week with a complete game, 2-1, victory at Dayton.  She limited the Flyers to just three hits and recorded 15 strikeouts in the seven-inning effort.  The second-year ace then ended the week by picking up two wins over Horizon League foe Cleveland State in a 24-hour period.

Esparza allowed just three hits and struck out nine in seven innings, while helping Butler to a 3-1 victory over the Vikings in the first game of the three-game series.  She then came back the next day and pitched all 16 innings in Butler’s 2-1 win in the series finale.  She had nine strikeouts and did not allow an earned run in the marathon performance.

Esparza improved to 8-5 on the year and lowered her season earned run average to 2.40.  She leads the Bulldogs with 110 strikeouts in 13 appearances.   

Butler will continue its current nine-game homestand with a doubleheader against Horizon League foe Valparaiso on Tuesday, April 12, starting at 3 p.m. (ET).  The Bulldogs also will play a single game against Valparaiso on Wednesday, April 13, and then host a three-game league series against Green Bay on Saturday and Sunday, April 16-17.