MARKO TOMICH | Contributing Reporter
The Butler Bulldogs softball team split its season-opening series in the Music City classic in Nashville, and the bulldogs now look forward to a tournament in Arkansas.
Butler opened its season with a 3-2 extra-inning win versus Belmont. Despite being held hitless through the first six innings, the Bulldogs pushed across a run in the top of the seventh inning to force the extra frame and scored two runs in the top of the eighth to secure the win. Sophomore Kristin Gutierrez picked up the win in relief for Butler.
The team split a double-header the next day, dropping the opening game 7-2 before winning the nightcap. Butler picked up its second extra inning victory 3-2, despite watching a 2-0 lead slip away in the last of the seventh.
The Bulldogs dropped the final game of the Classic 6-3. They surrendered three runs in the fifth inning and were unable to mount a comeback.
Butler has improved early in the 2013-2014 season. Compared to last season, the Bulldogs did not pick up their first win until their seventh game, in the back half of a double header. They defeated Morgan State 8-3.
Senior Leah Bry was active throughout the tournament, pitching in three of Butler ‘s four games and striking out 16 batters. In 12 innings of play, Bry picked up a win, a loss and two saves.
A few young players on the Bulldog team are already making a name for themselves. Freshman catcher Brandyce Sallee left the Music City Classic with her first home run, five hits and four runs batted-in during her first four career starts.
Sallee was one of the four Bulldogs were able to pitch in and hit a home run during the Music City Classic.
Butler will look to keep rolling in the wins this season when the team travels to the Woo-Pig Classic. The Bulldogs will face Arkansas, Jackson State, North Carolina State and UKMC in the three-day tournament.
The Bulldogs finished runner-up in their last appearance at the Woo-Pig Classic during the 2012 season.