Butler Continues Success Run In Florida

Senior Jenny Esparza

KISSIMMEE, FLA. -- Butler ran its Florida winning streak to six in a row with a pair of victories at the Rebel Games on Thursday, March 14.  The Bulldogs defeated Army, 2-0, in their first game of the day and then came back with a 6-2 victory over Wagner in the second contest.

Pitching again carried the day for the Bulldogs (8-11).  Senior Jenny Esparza set the tone in the opener with a complete game, one-hit shutout.  The Butler righthander struck out 11 and walked just two in a dominating performance.  She retired the Black Knights in order in four of the seven innings and allowed only one runner to advance past second base.

Army (6-9) picked up its lone hit with a leadoff single in the fifth inning.

Butler jumped in front in the second inning on a pair of walks and a run-scoring single by Krista Hakola.  The Bulldogs added an insurance run in the top of the seventh inning on a run-scoring single by Riley Carter.

Freshman Kristin Gutierrez and junior Leah Bry combined to limit Wagner to just five hits and one earned run in the nightcap.  Gutierrez pitched the first three innings and gave up both Wagner runs on two hits.  Bry came in to earn the win with four shutout innings of work.  She had six strikeouts and gave up just three hits.

Butler took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the third inning when sophomore Kristen Boros was hit by a pitch with bases loaded and Maria Leichty followed with a sacrifice fly.  The Bulldogs broke things open with a four-run rally in the bottom of the fourth inning.  Carter had the big hit of the inning with a two-run single, while Boros and Hakola added run-scoring hits.

Krosley Ogden, Meaghan Sullivan and Hakola each had two hits for the Bulldogs against Wagner.  Butler had nine hits as a team.

The Bulldogs, who have won six of eight games in Florida, will wrap up play in the Rebel Games with a single contest against Albany on Friday, March 15.