Bulldogs Drop Two Games In California
FRESNO, CALIF. -- Butler ran into a pair of strong West Coast opponents and wound up dropping a pair of games on the first day of the Bayer CropScience Classic in Fresno, Calif. The Bulldogs fell in the opening game of the tournament to San Diego State, 10-2, and then lost a 6-0 decision to No. 15 Oregon in the second outing.
The two first-day opponents limited Butler to a combined 10 hits in the two contests. The Bulldogs managed just two unearned runs against two San Diego State pitchers and then went scoreless against Oregon's Karissa Hovinga.
Things don't get easier for the Bulldogs. Butler will face unbeaten and No. 1-ranked California on Saturday, March 10.
San Diego State 10, Butler 2
San Diego State unleashed a nine-hit attack and took advantage of four Butler errors to grab a 10-2 decision over the Bulldogs. The game was settled by the eight-run rule in the bottom of the sixth inning.
San Diego State (14-11) took control in the bottom of the first inning, scoring five unearned runs on two hits and two Butler errors. The Aztecs added three more runs on a pair of hits and two more Butler errors in the bottom of the fourth and then closed out the decision on Kayla Jordan's two-run triple in the bottom of the sixth.
The Bulldogs scored both of their runs in the top of the fourth inning. Maria Leichty led the inning off with a single, and Erin Falkenberry reached on an error. A single by Mallory Winters loaded the bases. Leichty scored Butler's first run on an infield ground-out by Callie Dennison and Falkenberry scored the second on a sacrifice bunt by Jessica Huey.
Leichty had two of Butler's six hits in the game, including her fourth double of the season. Senior Breanna Fisher, who pitched the first 3.2 innings of the game, suffered her second loss in three 2012 decisions.
Oregon 6, Butler 0
Hovinga blanked the Bulldogs on four hits, while improving to 5-0 on the season, and Oregon won its 14th game in 17 outings. The Oregon hurler had six strikeouts and three walks, while going the distance.
The Ducks jumped in front with three runs on three hits in the bottom of the first inning off of Butler starter Leah Bry. Shortstop Kelsey Chambers drove in the first run with a single through the left side to give her team the lead for good. Oregon added two runs in the fourth inning and a final run in the sixth.
Infielder Meaghan Sullivan had two of Butler's four hits in the game, including her sixth double of the season, while Erin Falkenberry added her third double of the year. Bry suffered the loss and fell to 2-2 on the season.