Bulldogs Sweep Indiana State
TERRE HAUTE, IND. -- Butler turned a strong pitching performance and a timely rally into a pair of non-league victories over Indiana State at Price Field in Terre Haute on Wednesday, April 4. The Bulldogs captured the opener, 6-0, and then pulled out an 8-4 decision in eight innings in the nightcap.
Junior Jenny Esparza and senior Breanna Fisher combined on a one-hit shutout to lead Butler to the win in the first game of the twinbill. The Bulldogs then rallied from a 2-0 deficit in the second game with two runs in the top of the seventh inning and six runs in the eighth to complete the sweep.
The two wins gave Butler six victories in the past seven games and lifted the Bulldogs to 11-21 on the season. Indiana State fell to 12-20.
Butler will begin a three-game, Horizon League series against UIC on Friday, April 6, at 4 p.m. The two league foes will play a doubleheader on Saturday, April 7, starting at noon. All three games will be played at the Butler Softball Diamond.
Game 1 - Butler 6, Indiana State 0
Esparza blanked the Sycamores on one hit through five innings, before giving way to Fisher, who retired six of the final seven Indiana State hitters. The two Butler pitchers combined for eight strikeouts and just one walk.
Freshman Kristen Boros followed a double by Callie Dennison with a run-scoring single to give Butler a 1-0 lead in the third inning. The Bulldogs then padded that margin with four runs in the fourth inning, highlighted by a bases-loaded double by Jessica Huey. Meaghan Sullivan singled to drive in Boros with Butler's final run in the seventh inning.
Six different players contributed to Butler's six-hit attack in the game. Esparza picked up her fourth win in nine days and improved to 5-3 on the season.
Game 2 - Butler 8, Indiana State 4 (8 innings)
The Bulldogs, limited to one hit through six innings, scored a pair of unearned runs in the top of the seventh inning to tie the game and then capped the come-from-behind victory with a six-run rally in the top of the eighth frame.
Senior Lauren McNulty began the seventh inning with a single, advanced to second on an infield error and eventually scored Butler's first run on a second infield error. Senior Erin Falkenberry, who reached on a fielder's choice, then tied the score on a ground out by Alyssa Coleman.
Huey began the eighth inning on second base under the international tiebreaker, advanced to third on a single by Kayla Gray and eventually scored the game-winner on a single by Dennison. Gray and Dennison both scored on Sycamore errors, while Maria Leichty and Boros added run-scoring singles. Coleman drove in the final run with an infield ground out. Butler had five different players hit safely in the inning.
Indiana State jumped to a 1-0 lead on a pair of hits off of Butler starter Leah Bry in the first inning and then added an unearned run in the fifth.
Bry pitched five-and-two-thirds innings, allowing five hits and both Indiana State runs. Freshman Sarah Lowry blanked the Sycamores over the final two-and-a-third innings and picked up her first collegiate victory.