As the spring sports season begins to wind down, many teams are already beginning to prepare for their next season.
The football team had its annual blue and white scrimmage, the men’s soccer team had its spring exhibition matches, and five teams have announced additions to their rosters for next year.
Let’s take a look forward and see how some of Butler’s teams will be changing for the 2012-13 school year.
The men’s basketball team finished the 2011-12 season with a 22-15 record, averaging 40.8 percent shooting from the field and 28.1 percent shooting from beyond the arc. The Bulldogs were ranked eighth and 10th in the Horizon League in those categories, respectively.
The team has a chance to improve with the additions of senior guard and transfer Rotnei Clarke and incoming freshman guard Kellen Dunham.
In three seasons at Arkansas, Clarke averaged more than 15 points per game and shot nearly 44 percent from 3-point range.
Dunham averaged more than 29 points during his senior season at Pendleton Heights High School.
The Bulldogs will also be adding guard Devontae Morgan from Tampa, Fla., and guard Chris Harrison-Docks from Okemos, Mich.
Morgan led his high school team to a state championship last season, averaging more than 15 points and six rebounds per game.
Harrison-Docks averaged 21 points and five steals per game in his senior season.
The team will lose only two players—guard Ronald Nored and forward Garrett Butcher.
Butler will have to make up for the loss of Nored’s defensive prowess, as well as the experience and leadership provided by the pair.
Clarke and seniors Emerson Kampen, Chase Stigall and Andrew Smith will likely be asked to step up and fill those roles.
The women’s basketball team concluded its 2011-12 season with a 13-17 record and said goodbye to two senior guards—Devin Brierly and Kaley May.
Brierly was the only Bulldog to start in all 30 of the team’s games. She recorded more than 32 minutes of playing time per game, averaging 11 points per game.
Sophomore center Sarah Hamm is the only returning player to average more than 10 points per game last season.
Hamm will be joined by sophomore guard Jenna Cobb, freshman forward Hayley Howard and freshman guard Hannah Douglas, who all played key roles on the team last season.
Butler will also be adding four incoming freshman—forward Katie Brewer from Indianapolis, guard Blaire Langlois from Carmel, guard Lexus Murry from Indianapolis and forward-center Olivia Wrencher from West Chester, Ohio.
Brewer is a versatile player who has the ability to knock down three-pointers and battle down low.
Langlois has deep range on her jump shot but also has the ability to make plays with her passing.
Murry averaged more than 22 points per game during her senior season and can also be effective on the defensive end, where she averaged 3.5 steals per game.
Wrencher will bring size to the Bulldogs that will complement the play of Hamm and Howard under the basket.
The softball team will lose seven seniors at the conclusion of its current season, including four-year starting outfielder and third baseman Lauren McNulty, Butler’s home run record-holding first baseman Erin Falkenberry and catcher Mallory Winters.
Despite this, coach Scott Hall has five incoming players who could make an immediate impact on the program.
Alex Kotter, a shortstop from Vincennes Lincoln High School, had a .615 career batting average and was an Indiana first team All-State pick.
Chelsea Conover, an outfielder from Brownsburg, led her high school team in stolen bases, runs scored and on-base percentage for three years.
Audrey East is a utility player from New Palestine High School. East is one of the best power hitters in Indiana and boasted a .902 slugging percentage, eight home runs and 47 RBIs last season.
Taylor Lockwood, a pitcher from Southport High School, has good control and will be a solid addition to the pitching staff.
The same could be said for Kristin Gutierrez, a left-handed power pitcher from Highlands Ranch High School in Colorado.
Gutierrez, a 2011 Triple Crown All-American honoree, is a dual threat with her pitching and hitting. She led her conference with 127 strikeouts and recorded a .542 batting average.
The success of the pitching recruits could be key with the loss of senior pitcher Breanna Fisher and injuries to junior pitcher Jenny Esparza this season.
The baseball team will add four players who could have an immediate impact next season.
Nick Bartolone is a left-handed outfielder from Harrison High School. Coach Steve Farley said he expects Bartolone to compete for position in the outfield next year.
Chris Marras, a catcher from Vernon Hills, Ill., will get the chance to work with two fifth-year senior catchers, Radley Haddad and Nick Hladek.
Nick Saldutti is a power-hitting first baseman from Westfield High School. He hit .477 with a .571 on-base percentage in his junior season.
Drew Small is a utility player from Zionsville. He was an All-State honorable mention.
His versatility and speed will help him compete for a spot in the outfield, especially with the loss of senior outfielder Mike Hoscheit.
The Bulldogs will also lose pitchers Dom Silvestri, Mike Hernandez, Brad Schnitzer, Brian Padove and Ryan Salvino, as well as senior infielder Griffin Richeson.
The volleyball team is returning eight players who played in at least 50 sets last year and lost only one senior in Maureen Bamiro.
Bamiro, a former middle blocker, finished with the second-best attack percentage in Butler history and sixth all-time in kills and kills per set.
Last season, she was voted All-Horizon League.
The Bulldogs will return sophomore middle blocker Maggie Harbison, who will likely be a key contributor after being voted All-Horizon League last season.
Butler will also add two transfer students.
Freshman Erica Stahl, a transfer from Cincinnati, will be an addition to the middle blocker position.
Stahl only has four sets of collegiate experience under her belt but was named among the top high school volleyball players by the Under Armour Watch list in 2010.
Sophomore Morgan Peterson, a setter from Middle Tennessee State, will have two years of eligibility with the Bulldogs.
She averaged 8.58 assists and 1.41 digs per set last season.