April 12, 2009

Walk-off Home Run Lifts Butler Past Green Bay, 1-0

Freshman Lauren McNulty slugged her first career home run in the bottom of the seventh inning to give Butler a 1-0 victory over visiting Green Bay in the final game of a three-game Horizon League series at the Butler Softball Field on Sunday (April 12). The victory gave Butler a sweep of the series and lifted the Bulldogs to 16-22 on the year and 7-7 in league play.

McNulty ended a scoreless deadlock with one our in the bottom of the final inning. Her decisive shot sailed over the right-center field fence and sent Green Bay (14-19, 3-9 Horizon League) down to its sixth consecutive defeat. McNulty's home run was Butler's school-record 27th of the season and the seventh of the three-game series.

The dramatic finish ended a brilliant pitching duel between Butler's Breanna Fisher and Green Bay's Katie Cooney. Fisher went the distance, blanking the Phoenix on four hits. She had seven strikeouts and just two walks, while picking up her second win of the series. She improved to 9-11 on the season.

Cooney, who retired the first six batters she faced, gave up just five hits in six and a third innings. She had five strikeouts and no walks, but fell to 3-8 on the year.

Butler had a solid scoring opportunity in the third inning, when junior Annie Dolan led off with a double to left field. Dolan was retired on McNulty's fielder's choice, but sophomore Erin Jackson laced a two-out single to left field and McNulty advanced to third when leftfielder Kendra Woepse bobbled the ball. But Cooney wiggled off the hook by striking out freshman Paige Ashton to end the inning.

Green Bay's best opportunity also came in the third inning on back-to-back hits by Melani Niederer and Krissy Hanson with two outs. But Fisher fired a third strike past Sara Junion to end the inning.

Butler will step out of league play to take on IUPUI in a doubleheader on Monday, April 13. The first game is slated for 2 p.m. at Butler's softball diamond.