LONGVIEW, Texas — Butler softball picked up two victories during Friday's opening day of the three-day Region XIV Crossover Tournament at Longview's Lear Park.
The top-ranked Grizzlies (9-2 overall) run-ruled Navarro 14-6 in six innings, then edged Trinity Valley 3-1 in the late game.
Butler will continue play on Saturday, beginning with a 1:00 p.m. contest against 11th-ranked Tyler (17-2). The Grizzlies also will face Bossier Parish, La. (12-2) at 5:00 p.m. On Sunday, Butler will play Angelina, TX at 9:00 a.m. and Northeast Texas at 11:00 a.m. to finish the tourney.
Butler 14, Navarro (TX) 6 - 6 innings
Butler jumped out to a 4-0 lead after one inning, with Alexis Reed providing the big hit of the frame with a three-run home run to center. Later in the inning, Abi Cole scored the final run on an Anngie Salinas sacrifice fly.
Navarro scored all six runs in the bottom of the second off starter Maddie Siemer. The Bulldogs opened the inning with three straight hits, including an RBI double from Izzy Marillo. With Butler leading 4-3, Kora Heine put Navarro in front with a three-run home run.
The Grizzlies quickly answered with a six-run third inning. Butler loaded the bases with three walks, then Payton Reynolds tied the contest with a two-run single to left-center, driving in Nykiah Hines and Salinas. Paige Pacher followed with a two-run triple to deep center, scoring both Tamarah Mascher and Reynolds. Pacher then came home when Kenzie Young reached first on a throwing error. Reed drove in the final run of the inning, hitting a double to left-center to bring in Young for a 10-6 lead.
Mascher led off the fourth inning with a solo home run to give the Grizzlies a five-run cushion, then Butler added two more runs in the fifth. Pinch runner Midge Wurts scored from third base on a wild pitch, then Abi Cole came home on an Anna Williams groundout. Cole drove in Young for the final run for Butler with an RBI single in the sixth.
Following Navarro's six-run second inning, the Bulldogs managed to put only two runners in scoring position - both coming in the fourth. Brianna Robinson worked a 1-2-3 fifth inning with a strikeout and two groundouts, while Celina Sullivan struck out all three batters she faced in the sixth.
Siemer picked up the win and improved to 5-2 on the season, going four innings and allowing six earned runs on five hits. The sophomore righthander walked five and struck out two.
Young led the Grizzlies with three runs scored and had two stolen bases, while Reed was 2-for-2 with four RBI and two walks. Cole also went 2-for-3 with two runs scored. Butler's offense was patient at the plate with 12 walks and nine hits.
Butler 3, Trinity Valley 1
Butler's late game was delayed for over two hours, as the previous contest on the scheduled field between Galveston (TX) and Bossier Parish (LA) went nine innings. The game was slated for a 6:00 p.m. start, but did not get underway until approximately 8:15 p.m.
Trinity Valley broke a scoreless tie in the top of the third inning with a solo home run by Savanah Martinez, but Butler responded with two runs in the bottom of the frame.
With one out in the second inning, Caylie Kifer doubled and scored when Kenzie Young singled through the left side of the infield. Butler broke the 1-1 tie as Paige Pacher scored from third base as Payton Reynolds reached first base on an infield error.
Starter Megan Johnson (4-0) was solid for Butler, going five innings while allowing one earned run just six hits. With Johnson in the circle, Trinity Valley stranded seven runners in the first five innings - including bases loaded in the second inning.
Sophomore reliever Celina Sullivan then closed the door with two shutout innings, striking out all six batters. Sullivan finished the day recording all outs via the strikeout, getting nine batters in three innings.
Pacher and Abi Cole each had two hits for Butler, who had just eight hits as a team. The Grizzlies managed two extra-base hits along with six singles.