Jenny Esparza Named League Pitcher of the Week

INDIANAPOLIS, IND. -- Butler sophomore Jenny Esparza, who became Butler’s all-time strikeouts leader during a busy four-day stretch, has been named Horizon League Softball Pitcher of the Week for the week beginning April 28.  It’s the second time she’s earned the league’s weekly honor this season.

Esparza appeared in six games in a four-day period, April 28-May 1, and logged 26 2/3 innings.  She had 46 strikeouts and just 12 walks in the six games, and she allowed just six earned runs on the week.  She gave up just one earned run in Butler’s final three games of the week at league-leading Loyola.

The Butler righthander turned in one of the best performances of her young career in Butler’s first game at Loyola.  She pitched a complete-game, one-hit shutout to lead the Bulldogs to a 1-0 victory, while tieing her own Butler single game record with 18 strikeouts in the seven-inning contest.  One day later, she picked up her first save of the season with four strikeouts in two innings of work in Butler’s 2-1 victory over the Ramblers.

The 46 strikeouts on the week boosted Esparza’s season total to 208, giving her 515 strikeouts for her Butler career.  That broke the previous Butler career mark of 501 strikeouts, set by Melissa Benter (2000-05).  Esparza, in just her second season, holds Butler’s single game (18), single season (307) and career (515) records for strikeouts.   

Butler wrapped up its regular season schedule with a 28-22 overall record and a 14-8 Horizon League mark.  The Bulldogs currently stand third in the Horizon League, a half game behind league co-leaders Valparaiso (13-7) and Loyola (13-7).  The 2011 Horizon League Tournament will be held at the site of the regular season champion, beginning on May 11.