Softball: Butler 4-2, Green Bay 0-0
PHOTO GALLERY (Photos by Olivia Walter)
INDIANAPOLIS, IND. -- Butler picked up two strong pitching performances and swept visiting Horizon League foe Green Bay in a doubleheader at the Butler Softball Field on Saturday, April 16. The Bulldogs took the opener, 4-0, and then captured the nightcap, 2-0, on a cold and blustery afternoon.
Both teams had to deal with temperatures in the low 40's and winds straight in from centerfield gusting to 25 m.p.h. The two squads totaled just 11 hits and no earned runs in the two games.
Sophomore righthander Jenny Esparza sparked Butler with a dominant performance on the mound in the opener. The second-year pitcher allowed just one hit, a fifth inning single, and struck out 13 in her complete game effort. She allowed no walks and had just three hitters reach base in the seven-inning contest.
Butler (24-15, 10-3 Horizon League) jumped in front in the second inning on singles by junior Jessica Huey and Esparza and a throwing error on Green Bay catcher Paige Newtols on a pick-off attempt.
The Bulldogs then added three insurance runs in the fifth inning on one hit and three Green Bay errors. Junior Erin Falkenberry plated two of the three runs with a bases-loaded single.
Esparza, who retired the first 11 batters she faced, finished the game by striking out three of the final four batters she faced. The win was her fifth straight, boosting her season record to 11-5.
Senior Jennifer Chasteen continued Butler's dominant pitching performance in the second game. She blanked the Phoenix (15-14, 2-6 HL) on two infield hits, allowing only one runner to reach as far as second base. Chasteen had three strikeouts and no walks, and she faced just 24 batters in the complete-game effort.
Butler scored both of its runs in the second inning. Huey reached on an error to open the inning and junior Alyssa Coleman followed with an infield single. Huey was thrown out at third base on a bunt by sophomore Kayla Gray, but freshman Callie Dennison followed with a two-out double to left-center field to plate both Coleman and Gray.
Chasteen retired the final six batters she faced to improve to 10-4 on the season.
Butler and Green Bay will conclude the three-game Horizon League series on Sunday, April 17. The single game at the Butler Softball Field will start at noon.