Final Inning Rallies Lift Saint Louis Past Butler

Leah Bry

INDIANAPOLIS, IND. -- Saint Louis used a couple of final inning rallies to spoil two strong pitching performances and hand host Butler a pair of Atlantic 10 Conference setback on Wednesday (April 24).  The Billikens came from behind to take the opener 6-4 and then won the nightcap, 2-0, in eight innings.

Saint Louis decided both games in their final at bat.  The Billikens erased a 4-2 deficit in the first game with a two-out, grand slam in the top of the seventh inning.  The two teams then went to extra innings in the second game, and Saint Louis pulled out the victory with two runs in the top of the eighth.

The two late rallies foiled stellar pitching performances by Butler's duo of freshman Kristin Gutierrez and junior Leah Bry.  Gutierrez limited the Billikens to two runs on three hits through six innings, before surrendering the four runs in the final frame.  Bry was even better, blanking Saint Louis on just two hits through seven innings before giving up the game-winner in extra innings.

The two losses dropped the Bulldogs to 18-24 on the season and 7-9 in the A-10.  Saint Louis improved to 22-18 overall and 10-6 in conference play.

The twinbill wrapped up Butler's 12-game homestand, and closed out the Bulldogs' home slate.  Butler will play its final six regular season games on the road, beginning with two games at Charlotte on Sunday, April 28.

GAME 1 - Saint Louis 6, Butler 4

Lindsay Friedman had two hits and drove in five runs to lead Saint Louis to the come-from-behind victory in the opener with Butler.  The Billikens' outfielder drove in the first Saint Louis run with a single in the third inning and then provided the biggest blow of the game with a bases-loaded home run in the seventh.

Butler took a 2-0 lead in the second inning.  Maria Leichty singled to drive in Audrey East with the game's first run, and then she scored the second on a heads-up running play on an infield out.

After Saint Louis tied the game in the third, Butler went back on top in the fourth on a two-run single by Callie Dennison.

That's where the game stood, heading into the top of the seventh.  Gutierrez retired the first two batters she faced, but then hit a batter.  A single and an infield error loaded the bases for Friedman, who delivered her fifth home run of the season.

In the bottom of the seventh, Butler's Meaghan Sullivan slammed a one-out double and Krosley Ogden followed with a single to bring the potential winning run to the plate.  But Saint Louis starter Brianna Lore retired the next two Bulldogs to close out her 11th win of the season.

Gutierrez (6-11) finished with a career-high 12 strikeouts, while walking just one.  Ogden and Dearing each had two hits in the game.  

GAME 2 - Saint Louis 2, Butler 0

Bry was dominant through seven innings.  She struck out the first six batters she faced, and she didn't allow a hit or a base runner until the fourth inning, when Saint Louis recorded back-to-back singles.  The Butler righthander carried the two-hitter into extra innings.

Friedman was again a main cog in the Billikens' rally.  She opened the eighth inning with a single, and Jessica Van Nostrand followed one out later with another single.  An infield ground out advanced both runners to scoring position, and Kelsey Biggs came through with a two-out, two-run single to left.

But the Bulldogs weren't done.  Dennison came up with a one-out single to right field, and Kristen Boros followed with a single up the middle to bring the winning run to the plate with one out.  But East grounded into a double-play to end the game.

Bry (5-6) finished with 11 strikeouts, her most since Feb. 24.  She allowed just five hits in her eight-inning stint.

Seven different Butler players each had a hit in the game for the Bulldogs, with East delivering a double in the seventh inning for the game's only extra base hit.