Butler Opens Road Trip With A Victory

Butler Opens Road Trip With A Victory
Jenny Esparza

AMHERST, MASS. -- Senior Jenny Esparza turned in a complete-game effort on the mound and Butler began a four-game road trip to the Northeast with a 4-2 victory over Massachusetts on Friday (May 3).  The contest was the first of a two-game series between the Bulldogs and the Minutewomen.

Esparza (5-5), who pitched her second consecutive complete game, was in command from the start against the defending Atlantic 10 Conference champion.  She allowed only three hits and one earned run in the seven-inning contest.  Massachusetts (17-23, 11-8 A-10) managed just one hit over the final five innings!  Esparza finished with nine strikeouts and just three walks.

Butler (19-24, 8-9 A-10) finished with only five hits off of Massachusetts' starter Caroline Raymond, but the Bulldogs took advantage of three Minutewomen errors to score three unearned runs.

The Bulldogs grabbed a 2-0 advantage in the top of the first inning on a walk, a couple of infield ground balls, one Massachusetts error and a run-scoring single by Devin Dearing.

Maria Leichty singled to drive in Krosley Ogden with Butler's third run in the fifth inning, and Meaghan Sullivan drove in the Bulldogs' final run with a single in the sixth inning.  Massachusetts tallied single runs in the second and seventh innings.

Ogden paced Butler offense with two hit in three trips to the plate.

The two teams will wrap up their series with a single game on Saturday (May 4) at noon.  The Bulldogs then will head to Rhode Island to close out the regular season with a doubleheader on Sunday (May 5).