Butler No-Hits George Washington

Butler No-Hits George Washington
Jenny Esparza

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Pitchers Jenny Esparza and Kristin Gutierrez combined on a no-hitter and Butler tallied the game's lone run in the seventh inning to slip past George Washington, 1-0, on Friday (April 5).  The game was the first of a two-game Atlantic 10 Conference series at the GW Softball Field.

Esparza blanked the Colonials over the first three innings.  She struck out five, while walking three.  Gutierrez threw the final four innings and retired 12 consecutive batters, while earning her second career win.  She finished with three strikeouts.

Butler had a similarly tough time against George Washington starter Courtney Martin, who stopped the Bulldogs on two hits through the first six innings.  The Bulldogs (12-16) finally broke through with the game-winner in the seventh inning.

Audrey East opened the final frame with Butler's third hit, a single down the left field line.  Devin Brierly came on as a pinch runner, and she reached second base when Krista Hakola's ground ball was mishandled by Martin.  A sacrifice bunt by Riley Carter moved Brierly to third base, and the Butler pinch-runner scored the game-winner on a sacrifice fly by Callie Dennison.

Martin (5-10) allowed just six base runners in the game.  She struck out seven and walked two in her complete-game effort.

Carter notched the first hit of the game with a lead-off single in the third inning, and Sarah Gronowski followed with a one-out, bunt single.  But Martin escaped with no runs by getting a pair of ground outs.

Butler and George Washington will wrap up the brief conference series with a single game at noon on Saturday, April 6.