April 5, 2008

Butler Takes One Of Two At Cleveland State

April 5, 2008

Game One Box Score | Game Two Box Score

Cleveland, Ohio - Butler plated a pair of runs in the top of the ninth inning to claim a 2-0 victory in the first game of a double-header at Cleveland State on Saturday (April 5). The Bulldogs came up just short in the finale, however, as the Vikings held on for a 3-2 decision.

The split moves Butler to 14-14 on the season and 3-4 in Horizon League play.

Pitching dominated the opening contest, as neither team was able to push a run across in the first eight innings. Butler would finally break the scoreless drought in the ninth, thanks in part to a key hit and some costly errors by the Vikings.

Alex Boros got things started for the Bulldogs with a single to left center. Bridget Paine followed with a sacrifice bunt attempt, but an errant throw by the CSU third baseman allowed Boros to move to third and Paine to reach second.

Cleveland State appeared to be on the brink of escaping the jam, working a foul-out and a strike out before getting Jen Arriaga to send a lazy fly ball into straightaway center field, but the centerfielder misplayed the potential inning-ending out and allowed both Boros and Paine to score the go-ahead runs.

Nikki Naffziger picked up the win in relief, scattering four hits and striking out three in five innings of work. Boros and Kelli Hahn each finished with two hits for the Bulldogs.

The offense arrived much sooner in the second contest, as the Butler staked itself to a 1-0 lead in the first inning. Erin Jackson reached on an error by the pitcher before taking second on a ground-out by Boros and third on a passed ball. Paine followed with a two-out single to center to give the Bulldogs an early advantage.

The lead would be short-lived, however, as CSU responded in the bottom of the frame with an unearned run.

Whitney Willard led off with a walk before moving to second on a sacrifice bunt, but the Viking left fielder kept right on going in an attempt to reach third on the same play. The Bulldogs tried to cut down the risky maneuver, but an errant throw by the second baseman allowed Willard to head home for with the tying score.

A two-run home run in the third by Danielle Young put CSU in front 3-1 before the Bulldogs came back with a run in the sixth. Arriaga drew a lead-off walk, moved to second a sac bunt and came around on an error by the Viking second baseman.

Butler continued to threaten in the seventh, as singles by Lindsay Schluge and Hahn put the tying and go-ahead runs on base with two outs, but CSU would induce a game-ending ground-out to seal the win.

Butler wraps up the three-game series at Cleveland State on Sunday (April 6) beginning at 1:00 p.m. at Viking Field.