Butler Sweeps “Senior Day” Doubleheader
INDIANAPOLIS, IND. -- Butler paid tribute to its senior team members prior to its Horizon League doubleheader against Detroit on Saturday, April 21. The four-year players then responded by helping lead the Bulldogs to a pair of victories at the Butler Softball Field.
The Bulldogs captured the opening game, 7-2, and then completed the sweep with an 8-3 win in the nightcap. The two wins lifted Butler to 19-27 on the season and 9-8 in the Horizon League. The Bulldogs entered the day in a tie with Wright State for fourth place in the league standings.
"It was solid up and down the lineup," said head coach Scott Hall of his team's performance. "Great defense, good pitching and timely hitting and usually that equals a win."
Prior to the start of the doubleheader, Butler honored seniors Lauren McNulty (right), Erin Falkenberry, Mallory Winters, Jessica Huey, Alyssa Coleman and Breanna Fisher. All six played in each game, and all six had a hand in the wins.
"It was great to be able to get all of them in there, and all of them contributed," Hall said of his seniors. "They a great group. Hopefully, we can send them out the right way."
Butler and Detroit will conclude the three-game series with a single game on Sunday, April 22, at noon.
Game 1 - Butler 7, Detroit 2
The Bulldogs used a five-run rally in the bottom of the fourth inning to break a 1-1 deadlock and take control of the opening game of the league doubleheader. Six different Butler players hit safely in the inning and the Bulldogs took advantage of a pair of Detroit errors.
Falkenberry opened the inning with a hard single to center field, and she then circled the bases with the aid of two Detroit errors. The run put Butler on top 2-1, and the Bulldogs never relinquished the lead. Butler followed with five more hits, including a two-run double by Maria Leichty and a run-scoring single by Callie Dennison.
Dennison also drove in Coleman with a sacrifice fly in the fifth.
Winters and Kristen Boros paced Butler's 11-hit attack with two hits apiece. Sophomore Leah Bry pitched the first five innings and allowed just one run on three hits, while picking up her sixth win of the season. Fisher pitched the final two innings, allowing one run on two hits.
Game 2 - Butler 8, Detroit 3
Butler jumped in front with four runs in the first inning and then gradually pulled away for the five-run win. Falkenberry had the big blow in the opening frame with a two-run single.
The Bulldogs continued a strong offensive day with 10 hits, including a pair of home runs in the win. McNulty slugged seventh home run of the season to give Butler a 6-2 lead in the bottom of the fourth, and Falkenberry added a towering two-run shot in the sixth. Falkenberry's shot was her sixth of the year and boosted her school-record career total to 38.
McNulty finished with three hits in four trips to the plate, and she scored a pair of runs. The two runs scored gave her 108 for her career, breaking the previous Butler mark of 107 set by former teammate Bridget Paine, 2007-10. Falkenberry had two hits and four RBIs in the game, boosting her school-record career total to 132.
Bry started and pitched five innings. She allowed two hits and two runs, while improving to 7-15 on the year. Fisher finished up, giving up a single run on one hit.