Butler's softball team ran up against a pair of strong pitching performances and dropped its first two games of the season at the Sleep Inn Classic at North Texas State on Friday, Feb. 20. The Bulldogs dropped their first contest to Central Arkansas, 5-1, and then fell in the second game to Wichita State, 7-0.
Central Arkansas pitcher Holli Hill limited the Bulldogs to six hits, while striking out 16 in a complete-game performance. Junior Annie Dolan led the Bulldogs with three hits in three trips to the plate, including a solo home run in the fifth inning. Freshman Kayla Gray added a pair of hits, while sophomore Erin Jackson had Butler's other hit.
Paige Burke gave Central Arkansas a 1-0 lead in the first inning with a solo home run off of Butler starter Lauren Ott. Amber Jolly had a two-run, home run and Julie Essary added a solo shot for the Sugar Bears in the second inning. Ott went the distance for the Bulldogs and recorded four strikeouts.
Wichita State won the second game behind the arm of Kasha Kolb and the bat of Kara L'Huillier. Kolb pitched a complete game shutout and recorded 13 strikeouts. L'Huillier sparked the Shockers with a double, a home run and three runs batted in. She scored Wichita State's first run with a solo home run in the first inning off of Butler starter Kristen Malinkey. The Shockers then scored six runs on six hits, including a two-run double by L'Huillier, in the fourth inning.
Dolan, Jackson and senior Alex Boros accounted for Butler's three hits off of Kolb. Boros had Butler's lone extra base hit with a double in the second inning.
Butler will continue play in the Sleep Inn Classic with games against Missouri State and host North Texas on Saturday, Feb. 21.