Butler Falls To 0-5 In California

FRESNO, CALIF. -- Butler dropped its final three contests at the Bayer CropScience Classic, hosted by Fresno State and fell to 0-5 in the seven team tournaments.  The Bulldogs fell to #1 California, 14-1, host Fresno State, 9-1, and Connecticut, 10-8, in their final three games in the tournament.

Oregon finished on top of the tournament with a 5-0 record, while California wound up with a 4-0 record.  Fresno State was 4-2, San Diego State was 2-3, Purdue ended 1-3 and Connecticut finished with a 1-4 record.

The Bulldogs will remain in Fresno, Calif., for four more games this week.  Butler will face Purdue and Fresno State on Tuesday, March 13, before playing Pacific and Colorado State on Wednesday, March 14.

#1 California 14, Butler 1
Top-ranked California unleashed a 13-hit attack to support the one-hit pitching of Valerie Arioto and improved to 19-0 on the season with a five-inning victory over the Bulldogs.  The 14 runs were a season-high for the Golden Bears.

California jumped in front with a pair of runs in the top of the first inning and then pulled away with five runs in the third inning and six more in the fourth.

Butler ended the shutout in the bottom of the fifth inning on a pair of California errors and a run-scoring single by Kayla Gray.

Fresno State 9, Butler 1
Host Fresno State exploded for nine runs in the fourth and fifth innings and claimed a five-inning victory over Butler on the eight-run rule.  The host squad scored seven runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to end the game.

Butler took a 1-0 lead in the top of the fourth inning on two walks around a double by Erin Falkenberry (above) and run-scoring bunt single by Callie Dennison.  Fresno State pitcher Mackenzie Oakes ended the threat by striking out two Butler players with the bases loaded.

Fresno State took the lead in the bottom of the fourth inning with a pair of runs and then claimed the victory in the fifth.  Michelle Moses and Michelle Solomon both hit home runs for the home team in the final inning rally.

Connecticut 10, Butler 8
Connecticut jumped to a 9-2 lead in the first three innings and then held off Butler's comeback attempts to pick up a victory in the final tournament test for both teams.  Butler had its biggest offensive output of the weekend with eight runs and nine hits.

Both teams were plagued by errors in the high-scoring contest.  Only six of the 18 runs scored were earned, including just one by the Bulldogs.  Butler finished with eight errors, while Connecticut had five.

Cassie Rupel led Butler's nine-hit attack with three hits in four trips to the plate.  The Butler outfielder also scored two runs in the contest.  Megan Gray and Krista Hakola each had a pair of hits in the game, while Hakola and Devin Dearing each finished with two runs batted in.

Butler fell to 4-11 on the season.