May 10, 2012

Bulldogs Drop Top-Seeded Valparaiso

VALPARAISO, IND. -- Senior Breanna Fisher (right) continued Butler's superb pitching, and the Bulldogs pounded out nine hits to upset #1 seed Valparaiso, 6-1, in the second round of the 2012 Horizon League Softball Championship on Thursday, May 10.  The victory sends Butler into a "winners' bracket" game against #2 Loyola on Friday, May 11.

One day after sophomore Leah Bry tossed a three-hit shutout against Youngstown State, Fisher allowed just five hits, while holding the league regular season champion Crusaders to just a single unearned run.  Valparaiso (37-17) entered the game averaging nearly six runs per contest.

Fisher, who picked up her sixth win of the season, recorded four strikeouts and no walks in the complete-game effort.  She retired 15 of the final 18 Crusaders she faced.

Butler (25-30) took a 1-0 lead in the second inning on a bases-loaded single by shortstop Kayla Gray.  The Bulldogs then added three runs in the fifth inning on a bases-loaded walk to senior Mallory Winters and a two-run single by infielder Callie Dennison.

The final two Butler runs came in the sixth frame.  Gray scored on a throwing error to make it 5-1, and senior Lauren McNulty drove in the final run with a sacrifice fly.  It was the school-record seventh career sacrifice fly for the Butler centerfielder.

Winters led Butler's offensive attack with a pair of hits, including a double.  Senior Erin Falkenberry scored two of the six Butler runs, while Dennison had a pair of runs batted in.  The Bulldogs scored four runs off of Valparaiso starter Alex Lagesse (18-9) and two off of relief pitcher Shaleigh Jansen.

Butler's game on Friday at the VU Softball Field is slated to start at 1:30 p.m. (CT).