Softball splits first home games of the season

GRANT ANSCHUETZ | STAFF REPORTER | ganschue@butler.edu

The Butler University softball team couldn’t have asked for better weather as they split two games against the Miami University RedHawks for their first set of home games on March 15.

The Bulldogs fell to the RedHawks 12-3 in game one, but pulled out a 5-4 victory in game two.

Head coach Scott Hall said the team’s performance on the day was up and down. He attributed their lack of focus at times to the fact that they hadn’t had much rest since getting back from their spring break games in Florida.

In game one, Butler scored all three of their runs in the first inning. Centerfielder Brandyce Sallee doubled to right field to drive in a run. First baseman Kaitlin Doud then hit a homerun to centerfield to score herself and Sallee.

Pitcher Kristin Gutierrez took the loss on the mound. She gave up five earned runs on five hits in 2.2 innings of work. Pitchers Ambry Turpen and Kacey Starwalt pitched in relief.

Hall said the RedHawks offensive success in game one was in large part due to the lack of control the Butler pitching staff displayed.

“They just sat on pitches because our pitchers were all over the place,” Hall said. “We didn’t have them guessing, so they could sit in there and wait until we threw one down the middle.”

Butler capitalized on a five run fifth inning to overcome a four run deficit in game two. A two out three RBI triple by right fielder Sarah Dixon sparked the rally.

“My teammates did a good job of getting the momentum going, because it’d been slow the whole game,” Dixon said. “I was just really excited, ready to hit the ball and ready to score some runs.”

Sallee and Doud had the other two RBIs in the fifth inning for the Bulldogs.

Doud recorded the pitching win in game two, and Gutierrez came in in the last inning to get the save. Hall said that putting Gutierrez in to close out the game, after she had struggled in game one, wasn’t a tough decision.

“She’s a senior,” Hall said. “There’s nobody else I’m going to give the ball to in the seventh. She’s going to be the one we hand the ball to in those big situations right now.”

The Bulldogs will now get some much-needed rest until March 22 at Eastern Illinois University.

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