May 7, 2013

Jenny Esparza Earns A-10 Honor

INDIANAPOLIS, IND. -- Senior Jenny Esparza, who helped lead Butler to a season-ending four-game winning streak, has been named Atlantic 10 Conference Pitcher of the Week for the week ending May 5.  Esparza is the first Butler softball player to earn the league's weekly honor.

The Bulldogs closed out the 2013 campaign with four consecutive road victories at Massachusetts and Rhode Island, and Esparza was the winning pitcher in three of those contests.  She led Butler to a 4-2 victory at Massachusetts with a complete-game performance to open the four-game stretch, allowing just three hits and one earned run in the victory.

The Butler righthander then combined with freshman Kristin Gutierrez to blank Massachusetts, 2-0, in the second game of the two-game series.  She pitched five shutout innings in win, allowing just one hit, before giving way to Gutierrez.

Esparza closed out her senior season with a complete-game, two-hitter to defeat Rhode Island, 8-1.  She had eight strikeouts and no walks in the seven-inning contest.

In the three wins, Esparaza pitched 19 innings and gave up just six hits and two earned runs.  She had 24 strikeouts. while compiling a 0.74 earned run average.

Esparza finished her final season with Butler records for career wins (49), career strikeouts (789) and career earned run average (1.47).  She set single season records for wins (18 in 2010 & 2011) and strikeouts (307 in 2010), and single game records for innings pitched (16 vs. Cleveland State, 4/10/11) and strikeouts (18 vs. South Dakota, 3/13/10, and vs. Loyola, 4/30/11).