May 19, 2011

Bulldogs Tie Best Butler Softball Finish

HIGH FINISH:  Butler’s softball team came up one win shy of a league championship in 2011, but still matched the best finish in school history, while recording the program’s second-highest win total.  The Bulldogs’ 5-3 loss to UIC in the title game of the 2011 Horizon League Softball Championship closed the book on a season that saw Butler record 30 wins for just the second time in school history.  The team, under first-year head coach Scott Hall, posted a 32-24 final record, finished third in the Horizon League regular season race with a 14-8 mark and captured the runner-up trophy at the Horizon League Tournament.  The 32 wins were four shy of the school record, set by Butler’s 2010 squad, while the 14 league wins were a school record.  The third place regular season finish matched the second-best league standing in the program’s history, and the Bulldogs tied the 2002 Butler squad for the best league tournament finish.

Butler’s four Horizon League Tournament wins were a school record.  

ALL-TOURNAMENT:  Butler’s run to the title game of the 2011 Horizon League Softball Championship earned All-Tournament recognition for three team members.  Sophomore Jenny Esparza, the winning pitcher in each of Butler’s four tournament victories, made the All-Tournament squad for the second straight year, while senior Erin Jackson and junior Jessica Huey earned the recognition for the first time.  Jackson batted .400 in the six league tournament games, while Huey hit .333 for the championship.  The three All-Tournament selections were the most in Butler softball history.

SENIOR SUCCESS:  Seniors Erin Jackson, Jennifer Chasteen and Lauren Ott closed out their collegiate careers as the most winningest senior class in Butler softball history.  The three seniors helped Butler to 111 wins during their three seasons, including a school-record 36 wins in 2010.  The 111 wins erased the previous school mark of 105, set by last year’s senior class.

Butler’s seniors had a school-record 42 Horizon League wins.

BULLDOG BITS:  Junior Erin Falkenberry set a Butler single season record with 13 home runs in 2011.  She boosted her Butler career home run record to 30...Sophomore Jenny Esparza, the 2011 Horizon League Pitcher of the Year, set a league championship record with 60 strikeouts at this year’s conference tournament.  She boosted her Butler career strikeouts record to 575 after just two seasons.  Esparza also tied her own school record for wins with 18 in 2011...Senior Erin Jackson, who led the Bulldogs in hitting (.304) in 2011, tied Butler’s season record for at bats with 184.

(Front page photo by Steve Woltmann, Erin Jackson photo by Brent Smith)