Butler rode a strong pitching performance in the opener and then unleashed a potent offensive attack in the nightcap to sweep a Horizon League doubleheader against Detroit at Detroit's Buysse Ballpark on Saturday, March 28. The Bulldogs captured the first game, 3-2, and then completed the sweep with a 13-5 decision in the second.
Freshman Breanna Fisher (4-8) pitched six strong innings, and sophomore Kristen Malinkey came on in the seventh and recorded a clutch save to lead Butler past the Bulldogs in the opener. Fisher blanked the host Titans on one hit through six and a third innings, before surrendering three consecutive singles. Malinkey came on with the bases loaded and gave up a single and a run, but the tying run was cut down at the plate on a throw from rightfielder Lauren McNulty to catcher Mallory Winters.
Malinkey then ended the threat and the game by striking out Detroit shortstop Rachel Copple.
Butler managed just five hits off of two Detroit pitchers in the game, but three led to three runs in the third inning. Consecutive singles by shortstop Bridget Paine, Winters and first baseman Erin Falkenberry plated one run and a second scored on a sacrifice bunt by McNulty. The third and decisive run scored on a sacrifice fly by second baseman Paige Ashton.
Detroit ended Fisher's shutout in the fourth inning on a solo home run by Ellen Sinclair.
The second game was close for two innings. The Bulldogs (10-16, 2-3 Horizon) scored two runs in the first inning on a two-run double by Paine and three in the second on a run-scoring triple by outfielder Erin Jackson, a run-scoring single by third baseman Annie Dolan and a run-scoring double by outfielder Alex Boros. Detroit answered with three runs off of Butler starter Lauren Ott (4-4) in the first and a single tally in the second.
Paine then sparked a four-run rally in the fourth inning with a three-run, home run to right-center field and the Bulldogs added four more in the next two innings to put things out of reach. Winters capped Butler's offensive explosion with a two-run homer in the top of the sixth in the run-shortened contest.
Paine, who finished with five runs batted in, and Boros led Butler's 14-hit attack with three hits, apiece. Jackson, Dolan and Winters each added a pair of hits.
Butler will close out its three-game series at Detroit with a single game on Sunday, March 29.