INDIANAPOLIS - The Butler softball team used the long ball to sweep a doubleheader from St. Bonaventure on Friday. Butler won 2-1 in the first game and 6-3 in the nightcap.
Butler (10-12, 2-0) trailed in the first game for the majority of the game until Dearing came up with one out in the bottom of the 7th. Sophomore Maria Leichty set the table with a one-out single. The Butler first baseman found a pitch she liked and pulled it down the left-field line. The ball stayed fair and the Bulldogs stole a 2-1 game from St. Bonaventure.
"Maria got on base and that was huge for us," Dearing said. "We've always been taught you can change a game with one swing. So I went up there without abandon."
"Devin Dearing stepped up big time for us in the 7th inning," head coach Scott Hall said. "I was a little shocked it stayed fair, but it couldn't have come at a better time for us."
The homer by Dearing - her first of the season - gave the win to senior Jenny Esparza. The senior allowed three hits and no walks in a complete-game effort. She struck out three in the 1st inning and then two each in the final two innings.
Similarly to the first game, St. Bonaventure (3-19, 0-2) took an early lead in the nightcap. The Bonnies took advantage of some first-inning walks and scored on a single by Jessenia Andujar.
The 1-0 lead held until the Dawgs exploded for five runs in the bottom of the 5th. Three straight infield singles loaded the bases with one out. Boros then crushed a ball out to center, her fourth homer of the season. Butler took a 4-1 lead but wasn't done in the inning, as freshman Riley Carter added an RBI single to put the Bulldogs ahead 5-1.
"Obviously, K.B.'s grand slam got us going on the momentum side of things," Hall said. "The kids kept battling today and I'm really proud of them."
Two walks and two singles started a St. Bonaventure rally in the top of the 6th. The Bonnies scored twice but Butler got one back to take a 6-3 lead.
For the day, Dearing led Butler with a 4-for-5 effort, while Boros was 3-for-6 with five RBIs. Leichty and freshman Krosley Ogden also had three hits each in the doubleheader.
Butler, which has won eight of its last nine, will play at home against Eastern Illinois Wednesday, March 27.