March 18, 2009

Bulldogs Split 10 Games In Florida

Butler head coach Jeanne Rayman was looking to give her softball squad both extensive and diverse competition, and she did both with an ambitious 10-game schedule on a six-day trip to Florida. The Bulldogs, who had played just five games prior to the Florida trip, responded by posting their first five victories of the young season.

The Bulldogs won games with hitting (12-0 over Columbia behind a 13-hit attack) and with pitching (2-1 over Bucknell behind the combined five-hit pitching for Lauren Ott and Kristen Malinkey). And they prevailed in several nail-biters (8-7 over Eastern Kentucky and 7-6 over Bucknell). They also displayed power with four home runs in a 7-4 victory over Yale.

And the team was competitive in losses to Sacred Heart, Buffalo, Florida A & M, Penn and Robert Morris, the latter two games by one run each.

Butler had five players (Paige Ashton, Erin Falkenberry, Erin Jackson, Annie Dolan and Alex Boros) bat over .300 on the 10-game trip, while Ott and Malinkey each picked up a pair of victories.

The trip proved particularly productive for Falkenberry, who blasted four home runs and drove in 10 runs during the six-day stretch. The first-year first baseman also had a three doubles and scored 10 runs, while leading the team in total hits. Her effort earned her Horizon League Player of the Week recognition.

The Bulldogs will play their first home games of the season with a doubleheader against Big Ten foe Minnesota on Thursday, March 19. The twinbill at the Butler Softball Diamond is slated to begin at 2 p.m.