Softball matches single-season win streak, shuts out Dodge

Softball matches single-season win streak, shuts out Dodge

Butler softball has matched last year's single-season winning streak record of 38 games with a pair of shutouts against Dodge City on Wednesday.

The top-ranked Grizzlies (38-0 overall, 14-0 conference) defeated Dodge City 8-0 in six innings with a walk-off home run by Brynn Minor, then hammered the Conquistadors 17-0 in five innings to complete the shutout sweep.

The shutout sweep over Dodge City was the first time this season that Butler won both games by shutout.

Butler has now won 76 consecutive games dating back to last year's national title run and extended both its conference (37) and home (36) winning streaks, both which are school records.

The Grizzlies will host Pratt (4-42 overall, 2-16) tomorrow in a conference doubleheader. First pitch from East Park is scheduled for 2:00 p.m.

Game 1 - Butler 8, Dodge City 0 (6 innings)

Butler broke a scoreless tie in the third inning when Becca Schulte connected on a three-run home run to center field.

In the fifth, Brynn Minor doubled to center to score Kenzie Young, then crossed home on an Allison Jurgensen sacrifice fly to give the Grizzlies a 5-0 lead.

Ki'Audra Hayter opened the sixth inning with a solo home run to center field, then three batters later, Minor ended the game with her 19th home run of the season - a two-run blast to left.

Regan Mergele (18-0) had another solid start in the circle for Butler, throwing five shutout innings with eight strikeouts and allowing just one hit. Mergele gave up a two-out single in the first inning, but then recorded nine straight outs - including six consecutive strikeouts.. Minor also had a shutout inning of relief.

Minor led the Grizzlies with a 4-for-4 display at the plate, driving in three RBI, scoring twice and hitting two doubles to go along with her game-ending homer. Hayter was 2-for-4 with two runs scored, while Schulte went 1-for-3 with two runs scored and three RBI.

Game 2 - Butler 17, Dodge City 0 (5 innings)

The Grizzlies grabbed a 1-0 lead in the first when Becca Schulte singled up the middle to drive in Ki'Audra Hayter.

Butler then exploded for 12 runs on 13 hits in the second inning, sending 16 batters to the plate.

Allison Jurgensen led off the inning with a solo home run to right field, then Butler had three straight singles. Hayter followed with a single to center to score Alexis Reed from third, then Kenzie Young cleared the bases with a three-run double to left-center.

After Dodge City recorded two straight outs, Darrianne Hale singled to center to score Young to put Butler up 7-0. Two batters later, Reed singled to right-center to plate two more runs, then Celina Sullivan hit a two-run home run to left-center.

Dodge City made a pitching change, but could not slow the Grizzlies' offense down. Paige Pacher and Hayter had back-to-back singles, then scored on Young's triple to right-center.

Minor added a solo home run for her 20th of the season to lead off the third inning to give Butler a 14-0 advantage over the Conqs.

In the fourth, Schulte hammered a three-run home run to cap the scoring for the Grizzlies.

Young went 2-for-3 with a game-high five RBI, while Minor was 2-for-4 with four runs batted in. Hayter and Sullivan both went 3-for-3, with Hayter scoring three runs and Sullivan driving in two runs and scoring twice. Hale, Jurgensen and Pacher also had two hits each in the win.

Maddie Siemer (3-0) picked up the win with 3 1/3 shutout innings, allowing just one hit and fanning one batter. Hale threw the final 1 2/3 innings of the contest, striking out two batters and giving up no hits.

NOTES: The last time the Grizzlies won both doubleheader games by shutout came back on April 25 last year against the Conquistadors. Butler has shut out Dodge City in the last five contests played at East Park... The 17 runs scored in Game 2 by Butler is the most scored against Dodge City under head coach Doug Chance, who moved to 22-2 overall against the Conqs... Butler is one home victory away from matching their home regular-season conference win streak, which currently sits at 29 games. The Grizzlies won 30 straight regular-season home conference games from April 29, 2010 to April 2, 2014. Butler's last home conference loss came on April 6, 2015 in a 7-6 loss to Garden City... With two home runs today, Minor ranks third among NJCAA Division I hitters with 20 home runs and is just four away from tying Butler's single-season record of 24, set by Kate James in 2013... Schulte is four home runs away from matching James' career home run record of 36 (2013-14). The sophomore matched her single-season personal record of 16 home runs and currently ranks tied for fourth with Ashley Malone (16, 2013) on the Grizzlies' single-season list... The Grizzlies moved into third place in runs scored (423), home runs (79) and batting average (.416). Butler also moved closer to taking over the top spot in earned-run average (0.98), just behind Chipola, Fla. (0.93).