April 10, 2012

Bulldogs Salvage Twinbill Split

MOREHEAD, KY. -- Butler unleashed a seven-run rally in the final inning of the second game to grab a come-from-behind victory and earn a split in a non-league doubleheader at Morehead State on Tuesday, April 10.  Host Morehead State captured the opening game, 1-0, before the Bulldogs stormed back with an 11-5 decision in the nightcap.

The comeback win lifted Butler to 14-23 on the season.  The win was the ninth in 12 games for the Bulldogs, who will return home to host IUPUI in a doubleheader at the Butler Softball Field on Thursday, April 12.  The first game of the home twinbill will start at 3 p.m.

Game 1 - Morehead State 1, Butler 0
Morehead State pitcher Katie Pfost blanked the Bulldogs on two hits to lead the host Eagles to a victory in the first game of the doubleheader.  The MSU junior had six strikeouts and just two walks in the complete-game effort.

The Eagles scored the lone run of the game on a solo home run by x Riddle in the bottom of the second.  The game-winning blast off of Butler starter Jenny Esparza was Riddle's tenth home run of the season.

Freshman Kristen Boros broke up Pfost's no-hit bid with a single up the middle in the top of the third inning.  Junior Kayla Gray notched Butler's other hit with a single to center field in the top of the fifth.

Esparza (6-4) pitched four innings and allowed just three hits, while striking out seven.  Senior Breanna Fisher gave up just one hit in two innings of relief work for the Bulldogs.

Game 2 - Butler 11, Morehead State 5
The Bulldogs, silent offensively in the opening game, exploded for 14 hits and 11 runs in the second contest to earn a split on the afternoon.  Six of those hits came in a decisive seven-run rally in the final inning.

The Bulldogs jumped in front with a pair of runs in the first inning.  Sophomore Callie Dennison opened the inning with a walk and eventually scored on a passed ball.  Junior Meaghan Sullivan, who reached on a single, scored the second run on Lauren McNulty's sacrifice fly.

Butler then answered a single run by Morehead State with back-to-back home runs by McNulty and senior Erin Falkenberry in the top of the third frame.  It was the fourth home run of the season for both Butler players, and Falkenberry boosted her Butler career record for home runs to 36.

But Morehead State struck back with four runs off of Butler starter Leah Bry in the bottom of the third inning, and the Eagles appeared headed for a sweep entering the final inning.
 
The Bulldogs had other thoughts.  Boros opened the top of the seventh inning with a triple down the right field line and tied the game on a single by junior Meaghan Sullivan.  A bunt single by McNulty and a fielder's choice by Falkenberry loaded the bases, and freshman Maria Leichty followed with a walk to drive in the eventual game-winning run.  Sophomore Megan Gray drove in the third run with a single and Kayla Gray drove in the fourth with a sacrifice fly.  Sophomore Callie Dennison had a run-scoring single, Megan Gray scored on a passed ball and Sullivan closed the scoring with her second run-scoring single of the inning.

Freshman Sarah Lowry stopped the Eagles on two hits in the bottom of the seventh to earn her second win in as many decisions this season.

Sullivan, McNulty and Megan Gray sparked Butler's offensive explosion with three hits apiece, while Boros and Falkenberry each added two hits.  Seven different Butler players scored at least one run in the game.

Butler's 11 runs, 14 hits and nine runs batted in all were season-highs for the Bulldogs.