April 12, 2012

Butler Blanks Visiting IUPUI

INDIANAPOLIS, IND. -- Sophomore Leah Bry (right) tossed her third complete game shutout of the season to lead Butler to a 4-0 victory over crosstown foe IUPUI in a non-league game at the Butler Softball Field on Thursday, April 12.  The win was Butler's tenth in the past 13 games.

Bry was in control from the start, yielding just one hit through the first four innings.  She gave up just five hits for the game and finished with seven strikeouts and no walks, while winning her fourth contest of the season.  

"We came out with a purpose, we executed and we got a great performance from Leah Bry in the circle," said Butler head coach Scott Hall after the game.

Bry allowed just two runners in the first four innings.  The Jaguars (11-26) had runners reach third base in three innings, but each time Bry worked out of the jam.  The Butler righthander finished the game by striking out three of the final four batters she faced.

"(Leah) has continued to improve throughout the season, and you could see that she was pitching with more confidence today," noted Hall.  "This is a performance that she can build on."

The Bulldogs (15-23) provided Bry with an early advantage, jumping to a 2-0 lead in the second inning.  Senior Lauren McNulty opened the bottom of the second with a walk, advanced to second on a passed ball and then stole third.  She scored the game's first run on a one-out single by catcher Maria LeichtyMegan Gray followed with a single that was bobbled by IUPUI leftfielder Lindsey Richards, allowing pinch-runner Sarah Gronowski to score.

Butler added a run in the fourth inning on a single by shortstop Kayla Gray and a double  off the wall by third baseman Callie Dennison.  Pinch-hitter Devin Dearing drove in Leichty, who was hit a by a pitch, with a double to right-center for the Bulldogs' final run in the sixth.

The Jaguars' best scoring opportunity came in the third inning when Richards had a lead-off double and advanced to third with one out.  But the threat ended when Butler rightfielder Jessica Huey caught a fly ball off the bat of Nicole Checkie and then threw out Richards at the plate for an inning-ending double play.

IUPUI starting pitcher Nikki Thomas allowed just six hits in six innings and recorded nine strikeouts, but she was tagged with her 14th loss of the season.

Butler will return to Horizon League play with a three-game series at Green, beginning on Saturday, April 14.  The Bulldogs will be back at the Butler Softball Field on Tuesday, April 17, to host league foe Wright State in a doubleheader.