Softball starts Big East play with series win

GRANT ANSCHUETZ | STAFF REPORTER | ganschue@butler.edu

The Butler University softball team won its first Big East series of the year after winning two out of three games at home against the Seton Hall Pirates.

The Bulldogs won one game on March 25 and split a pair of games on March 26. Butler pushed its record to 19-13 on the year.

In game one of the series, the Bulldogs capitalized on an impressive pitching performance by senior Kristin Gutierrez to win 5-1.

Gutierrez threw all seven innings, allowed one run on three hits and struck out a career high 14 batters.

Shortstop Cheyenne Thompson had an RBI double in the fourth inning, and pinch hitter Chelsea Norwood hit a 2 RBI double in the fifth inning.

Butler fell 3-2 to the Pirates in game two on Saturday. Gutierrez pitched another six innings for the Bulldogs, and she recorded the loss on the mound. She allowed two earned runs on five hits and struck out eight batters.

Center fielder Brandyce Sallee and pinch hitter Sammy Andersen each had RBI singles for Butler.

In the game that decided the series, head coach Scott Hall handed the ball to sophomore Mikeila Boroff. She pitched all seven innings for Butler and gave up three earned runs on five hits. That effort from Boroff was more than enough as the Bulldogs won 6-3.

Boroff said she took things one pitch at a time and knew her teammates would make defensive plays behind her.

“As a pitcher that’s huge, you don’t have to worry about what’s going on in the game because you know your teammates have your back,” said Boroff.

Hall said it was big for Boroff to stay in the game and battle out all seven innings for the Bulldogs.

Offensively, first baseman Kaitlin Doud and third baseman Alyssa Lach each had squeeze bunts in the first inning to put Butler ahead 2-0.  Later, Lach extended the lead with a solo home run in the third inning.

Seton Hall answered with two runs in the top half of the fifth inning. However, in the bottom half of the inning, Butler scored three more runs to add distance with the Pirates. Highlighting the inning was a line drive home run to right field by Sallee.

Salle said she had been getting pitched outside all game long, so she was initially looking for an outside pitch in the at bat. However, once Seton Hall’s pitcher got ahead in the count, Sallee knew that she would get an inside pitch, and she was more than ready to hit it.

Hall was proud of the way his team competed in the series in order to take two out of three games. While there was a lot to be happy about after the series, he said the team needs to work on being more consistent going forward in the season.

The Bulldogs will play at home against the IUPUI Jaguars on March 30 at 5 p.m. Butler already beat IUPUI 6-1 this year at the Carolina Classic.

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