March 24, 2005
Freshman Nikki Naffziger threw four shutout innings and got all the offense she needed on the second pitch of the afternoon Thursday, as Butler cruised to an 8-0, five-inning win in the first game of a doubleheader with IPFW at Butler Softball Field. The Mastodons responded by winning the nightcap, 5-3. After the split, Butler is now 9-8 on the season, while IPFW currently stands at 3-14.
Naffziger improved to 7-2 on the season, by allowing just two hits and a walk in four innings of work in the first game of the twinbill. Jennifer Sundin relieved Naffziger and pitched a scoreless fifth to secure the win. Sophomore JoAnna Gonzalez hit her first career home run to lead off the bottom of the first, taking the second pitch she saw over the fence in left center. It would be the first of five runs in the frame.
Freshman Jenny Jacobs followed with a single and scored on a Naffziger single three batters later. Angie Johnson, Lynn Hohs and Maria Marchesano would also pick up RBIs in the bottom of the first. The five runs chased IPFW starter Beth Harmon.
In the bottom of the fourth, Jacobs homered to center. The two-run shot was her second of the season. Butler would push across another run on a Mastodon error to take the 8-0 decision in five innings. Gonzalez, Jacobs and freshman Amy Hyerczyk each had two hits in the game.
Butler again got on the board first in the second game. Jacobs reached base on a fielder's choice in the bottom of the first and scored two batters later when Hyerczyk's grounder to second base was booted. The Bulldogs pushed across another run in the third when senior Melissa Lemrick singled home Marchesano, who had doubled to lead off the inning.
Sophomore Jamie Wonderly got the start in game two and scattered five hits over the first four innings, but did not allow IPFW to push a run across the plate. Naffziger relieved her in the top of the fifth and the Mastodons mounted a two-out rally. Tierni Green scored on a Natalie Clark single and Kari Butler plated Clark and herself with a two-run homer to give IPFW a 3-2 advantage.
Butler would respond in the bottom of the inning when Hyerczyk knocked in Gonzalez with a two-out single. Once again the long ball haunted the Bulldogs, as IPFW's Ashley Johnson hit a two-run shot in the top of the sixth to put IPFW back on top, 5-3.
The Bulldogs went in order in the bottom of the sixth. In the bottom of the seventh, Marchesano led off with a single to right center. The top of the order then sent three balls to deep center that turned out to be loud outs, two of the three narrowly missing tying the game. Marchesano had two of the Bulldogs' five hits. IPFW countered with 10.
Butler and Youngstown State were set to square off in a Friday doubleheader, but those games have been canceled with bad weather looming in the forecast. Instead, the teams will meet for a twinbill Saturday in place of the regular-scheduled single game. The Horizon League opener is set for 11 a.m.