Butler Splits BIG EAST Doubleheader

Butler Splits BIG EAST Doubleheader
Alex Kotter (Photo by Brent Smith)

QUEENS N.Y.. -- Butler pulled out a come-from-behind victory in its first game of a doubleheader with St. John's and then saw a lead slip away in a loss in the second contest at Red Storm Field on Tuesday, April 1.  The Bulldogs rallied to take the opener, 4-2, before dropping the nightcap, 7-5.

The Bulldogs (11-20) scored three runs in the top of the seventh inning to overcome a 2-1 deficit and capture the victory in the opener.  Kristen Boros and Krista Hakola started the rally with back-to-back doubles to plate the first run.  Cassie Rupel followed with a single to score the second, and Alex Kotter drove in the final run with a fielder's choice.

The late rally saved a strong pitching performance by sophomore Kristin Gutierrez.  The second-year lefthander went the distance in the circle for the Bulldogs and improved to 7-8 on the season.  She had 10 strikeouts and just one walk, while allowing eight hits in the victory.

St. John's (15-16) grabbed a 1-0 lead in the third inning on a home run by Jackie Reed.  After Butler tied the game in the fifth inning on a double by Hakola and a single by Krosley Ogden, the Red Storm jumped back in front in the bottom of the fifth on Erin Burner's solo home run.

Hakola and Ogden each had a pair of hits to lead Butler's eight-hit attack.

Butler jumped to a 2-0 lead in the first inning of the second game on Kotter's two-run, home run to left-center field.  But the Red Storm answered with a four-run rally off of Butler starter Allie Tarrant in the bottom of the second inning.  The big blow in the inning was Reed's three-run double.

Kotter sent the Bulldogs back in front with her second home run of the game, a three-run, shot over the right-center field fence.  It was the third home run of her young career.

Carly Williams answered for St. John's with a two-run double in the bottom of the third inning and the host squad added a single run in the sixth for the final margin.

Tarrant, who pitched the first two-and-a-third innings, took the loss and fell to 1-5 on the season.  Senior Callie Dennison came on in relief and pitched the final three-and-two-thirds innings.

Kotter finished the day with two hits and five RBIs.  She has 15 runs batted in on the season and shares the team lead with freshman Brandyce Sallee.

Butler and St. John's will wrap up the three-game BIG EAST series with a single game on Wednesday, April 2, at noon.