Butler Splits Final Two Games At Evansville

Butler Splits Final Two Games At Evansville

EVANSVILLE, IND. -- Butler came up with two strong pitching performances, but managed just one win on the final day of the Evansville Tournament at the at James and Dorothy Cooper Stadium.  The Bulldogs dropped a 1-0 decision to UMKC in the first test of the day, before bouncing back with a 3-2 victory over host Evansville.

Senior Breanna Fisher and sophomore Leah Bry combined to limit UMKC to just four hits, but the Kangaroos scored an unearned run in the bottom of the eighth inning to pull out the win.  In the second game, junior Jenny Esparza (right) was tagged for nine hits, but she allowed only two runs, and the Bulldogs rewarded her with her first victory of the young season.

Butler finished the four-team tournament with a 2-2 record and improved to 2-4 on the year.

The Bulldogs will continue their early season travels when they head to Arkansas to compete in the Woo Pig Classic on Saturday and Sunday, March 3-4.

Game 1 - UMKC 1, Butler 0

Fisher and Bry blanked the Kangaroos through seven innings, but the home team took advantage of the International Tie-Breaker and a Butler error to score the game's only run in the bottom of the eighth inning.

Pinch-runner Danielle Bennefeld began the eighth inning on second base and she came around to score on a throwing error by Butler's Meaghan Sullivan, ending the game.

Butler out-hit the Kangaroos, 5-4, but the Bulldogs left 10 runners on base.  Senior Lauren McNulty had a double for the Bulldogs, while Sullivan, Kristen Boros, Erin Falkenberry and Maria Leichty each added a single.

Game 2 - Butler 3, Evansville 2

Esparza gave up an unearned run in the bottom of the first inning and was nicked for a single run in the bottom of the seventh, but in between she was in command.  The Butler right-hander recorded 12 strikeouts in the game and didn't give up an extra base hit.

Butler took the lead for good in the top of the first inning on a single by Sullivan, a sacrifice bunt by Boros and a run-scoring double by McNulty.  Mallory Winters then singled with two outs to score McNulty.

The Bulldogs added a run in the third inning on singles by Boros and McNulty and a sacrifice fly by Esparza.

McNulty and Winters each had a pair of hits in the win.  Sullivan, Boros and Esparza each added a single hit for the Bulldogs.