Alyssa Graves in the circle for Butler. Graves picked the win in the Bulldogs’ lone midweek victory. Jimmy Lafakis/Collegian file photo.
KEELEN BARLOW | STAFF REPORTER | firstname.lastname@example.org
The Butler softball team moved to 8-12 on the year after a trio of midweek games on March 12 and 13 in Florida. Sophomore Maddie Moore hit her first career home run in the Bulldogs’ lone win of the midweek stretch, a 6-3 nine-inning decision against Army.
Facing the Black Knights for the first of two matchups in as many days, the Bulldogs grabbed a 1-0 lead in the second inning off a double from Kaitlin Doud. Following a 2-run fifth inning that gave Army the lead, Moore responded with a shot to center that tied the game. The score was tied at two heading into extras.
After both teams scored a run in the eighth, the Bulldogs secured the victory with three runs in the top of the ninth. Freshmen Lauren Fey and Karli Ricketts came through with a pair of doubles that scored three runs. Alyssa Graves threw a scoreless bottom half to grab the win.
After Doud got the start for the Bulldogs, Graves pitched 4.1 relief innings without surrendering an unearned run.
The next day, the Bulldogs took on the Bison, a program coming off five straight NCAA Tournament appearances, and fell 3-2. Graves got the start in the circle and allowed a single run in the second, fourth and fifth innings. The Bison were able to get a pair of solo home runs off Graves to grab a 2-0 lead.
Facing a 2-0 deficit in the top of the seventh, the Bulldogs were able to plate two runs before the Bison halted the rally. Payton Longest’s two-run single brought the Bulldogs within a single run before Paige Vargas was able to strike out Jenna Foreman and Christian Candotti to end the game.
To close the midweek action, the Bulldogs took on Army for their final matchup. Sophomore Claire Gilliland hit her first home run of the season in the loss.
After Butler grabbed a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first, Army used a seventh run fourth inning to defeat the Bulldogs 8-3. Ricketts took the loss in the circle.
The Bulldogs will play in the USF Series to close Spring Break in Tampa, Fla. Their first two matchups will be against Minnesota and South Florida, two NCAA Tournament teams from a year ago.
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