Butler was well-represented on the 2012 Horizon League Preseason All-Conference Team, selected by College Sports Madness website. The Bulldogs had four players named first or second team All-League, including Preseason Pitcher of the Year Jenny Esparza.
Esparza, who was the 2011 Horizon League Pitcher of the Year, led the Bulldogs to a 32-24 record and a runner-up finish in the Horizon League Women's Softball Championship a year ago. She tied her own school record with 18 wins, and she finished second in the league with 268 strikeouts. Esparza, who boasted a 1.67 earned run average, increased her caereer strikeout total to a school-record 575. She was one of three Butler players named first team on CSM Preseason All-League squad.
Seniors Erin Falkenberry and Lauren McNulty joined the Butler righthander on the Preseason All-League first team. Falkenberry, Butler's all-time leader in home runs (32), set a Butler single season record for homers with 13 in 2011, and she finished second on the team in batting with a .298 average. McNulty finished second on the team in home runs (8) and fourth on the squad in hitting (.286).
Butler righthander Breanna Fisher, who had a 2.17 earned run average in 67.2 innings last season, earned second team All-League recognition by the sports website.
Newcomer Kristen Boros was picked as the Horizon League's Freshman of the Year, while head coach Scott Hall was named the league's Coach of the Year. Hall guided the Bulldogs to the second-highest win total in school history in his first season last year.
Butler will open the 2012 season at the Lady Bison Round Robin, hosted by Lipscomb University, Feb. 18-19. CLICK HERE to view the entire 2012 Butler softball schedule.