May 12, 2005
Cleveland State put up a two-spot in the bottom of the first inning and Viking hurler Grace Luginbuhl made it stand up as CSU topped Butler, 2-1, in the first round of the Horizon League Championships Thursday in Green Bay, Wis. The Bulldogs return to action Friday morning in the double-elimination tournament. CSU improves to 22-24 and Butler falls to 19-32 on the season.
Cleveland State used a single, a Butler error and a two-run double from Michele Penney to score two runs in the bottom of the first off Butler starter Meghan Howard. Howard rebounded to allow just five hits and two runs (one earned) in four innings of work. Freshman Nikki Naffziger relieved her for the final two innings and didn't surrender a hit.
Luginbuhl, the Horizon League "Pitcher of the Year," struck out 10 Bulldogs, giving up three hits and a walk. She improves to 14-12 on the year, while Howard falls to 0-10.
Butler got on the board in the top of the fifth when junior Angie Johnson led off the frame with a single. With one out, freshman Ashley Barry knocked her in with a double down the left field line. Freshman Jenny Jacobs had the third Butler hit, a two-out single in the sixth.
The Bulldogs return to action Friday morning at 9 a.m. against Wright State in the consolation portion of the bracket. Butler swept a doubleheader from the Raiders earlier this spring. The tournament is being played at the softball complex in Ashwaubenon, Wis. If Butler wins, they would turn around and play at 11:30 a.m. Friday. A loss would end the team's 2005 campaign.