Bulldogs Sweep Final Doubleheader

CLEVELAND, OHIO -- Butler unleashed 23 hits and 15 runs and wound up sweeping its final doubleheader of the 2012 season at Viking Field in Cleveland, Ohio, on Sunday, April 29.  The Bulldogs defeated host Cleveland State, 7-5, in the opening game and then captured the nightcap, 8-1.

Sophomore Meaghan Sullivan (right) sparked the Bulldogs' offense with seven hits, including a pair of home runs.  Senior Lauren McNulty added two solo home runs.

Senior Breanna Fisher and sophomore Leah Bry combined to pitch both games, and each picked up a victory.

The two wins lifted the Bulldogs to 23-30 on the season and 13-11 in the Horizon League.  More importantly, the sweep guaranteed Butler a berth in the 2012 Horizon League Softball Championship, May 9-12, at Valparaiso.

Game 1 - Butler 7, Cleveland State 5
The Bulldogs used a five-run rally in the third inning to take control of the game, and Bry turned in four solid innings in relief to pick up her tenth win of the season.

Sophomore Kristen Boros sparked the third-inning outburst with a three-run home run, her fourth of the season.  Senior Mallory Winters also had a two-run single in the inning.

Cleveland State battled back with a pair of runs in the bottom of the third and two more in the fourth.  But McNulty added a solo home run in the fifth and Winters had a run-scoring double in the seventh to give Bry all the cushion she needed.

Bry had five strikeouts and allowed just four hits in her four innings of work.  The Vikings did notch a single run off the second-year Butler pitcher in the bottom of the seventh.

Sullivan, Winters and freshman Cassie Rupel each had three hits for the Bulldogs, while Winters and Boros each drove in three runs.  The Bulldogs racked up 11 hits off of two Cleveland State pitchers.

Game 2 - Butler 8, Cleveland State 1
Fisher turned in a stellar starting job for the Bulldogs, while earning her fifth win of the season.  She had a perfect game through three innings and a no-hitter through five frames, before the Vikings broke through with a hit and a run in the sixth.  Bry came on to pitch the final inning and two-thirds, blanking the Vikings on one hit.

Butler scored all the runs it needed with a four-run rally in the first inning.  Falkenberry drove in two runs with a single, while Sullivan and Krista Haloka each added run-scoring singles.  The Bulldogs added three more runs in the second on Sullivan's two-run home run and McNulty's solo blast.  Sullivan added a second home run in the sixth for Butler's final run.

Sullivan was four for four in the game with three runs scored and four runs batted in.  Senior Jessica Huey added a pair of hits.

Fisher struck out five, walked one and allowed just two hits in her five-and-a-third innings of work.