Softball: Team drops two close contests to open season

The Butler softball team dropped its first two contests of the 2012 season by one run apiece.

Led by junior pitcher Jenny Esparza, the Bulldogs (0-2) faced off against Lipscomb in the first game of the Lady Bison Round Robin on Saturday.

The game remained scoreless until the bottom of the seventh inning when Esparza gave up a two-out, walk-off home run, allowing the Bison (3-3) to grab a 1-0 victory.

Lipscomb sophomore designated hitter Haley Elliott deposited a home run in left-center field to send the Bison home happy.

Esparza did not allow a hit until the sixth inning, recording five strikeouts and walking three batters.

Photo by Rachel Anderson

Lipscomb senior pitcher Whitney Kiihnl fired a no-hitter against Butler, striking out 11 and recording her second shutout of the season.

The Bulldogs’ offense picked up in its second game of the tournament against Samford (3-4), but it was not enough as the other Bulldogs won 4-3.

Butler had three doubles in the first inning, courtesy of junior second baseman Meaghan Sullivan, senior outfielder Lauren McNulty and senior first baseman Erin Falkenberry.

McNulty then gave Butler a 2-1 lead with a home run to left field in the bottom of the fifth inning.

Sophomore pitcher Leah Bry had held Samford to one hit until giving up four in the top of the seventh inning, leading two three runs. This gave Samford a 4-3 lead that Butler could not overcome.

Butler finished the game with 10 hits, with Huey, McNulty, Falkenberry and sophomore third baseman Callie Dennison each recording two.

Bry had six strikeouts and three walks in the loss.

The team was scheduled to play both Samford and Lipscomb again on Sunday, but the games were cancelled due to inclement weather.

The Bulldogs will be back in action this weekend with a doubleheader against Detroit and Missouri, which will be held at Evansville.

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