Strong pitching, Talley's hitting lead Butler over Iowa Western

Strong pitching, Talley's hitting lead Butler over Iowa Western

The Butler softball team got a pair of masterful starting pitching performances on its way to a doubleheader sweep of visiting Iowa Western on Monday at East Park.

The Grizzlies won the first game 2-0 and then took the second game by an 8-1 score.

With the wins, Butler improves to 30-6 on the season. The Grizzlies have won 30 or more games in 14 of Doug Chance's 15 seasons as head coach, including 10 straight years. Iowa Western falls to 26-20.

Butler will return to Jayhawk Conference action on Friday and Saturday, with a pair of home doubleheaders against Garden City and Seward, before finishing conference play with a doubleheader on the road at second-place Barton on the following Monday.

GAME 1 – Butler 2, Iowa Western 0

Megan Johnson had one of her finest performances of the season, as she threw the complete-game shutout. She allowed just four hits, while striking out seven Iowa Western hitters. It is her second shutout of the year. Her first was March 24 against Northern Oklahoma-Tonkawa.

Butler got its only runs on the same play in the fifth inning. Taliya Talley singled to right field to drive in Jaime Barta. When the throw to the plate got away from the catcher, Shayna Espy was also able to score.

GAME 2 – Butler 8, Iowa Western 1

Kaylee Burnett got the start for Butler, and shut out the Reivers through the first two innings. She allowed one unearned run in the third inning, that coming on a sacrifice fly to score a runner who had reached on an error. Burnett kept the Reivers hitless until the fifth inning, giving up the first hit with one out.

Offensively, Butler scored in the first inning as a double to right by Taliya Talley drove in Meghan Gutierrez.

Talley would hit two homers later in the game – a solo shot to straightaway center field in the third inning and a three-run shot in the fourth. She finished the game going 3-for-4 with two runs scored and five RBI.

The only other RBI came from Jordan Carlson on a sac fly in the fourth to score Taylor Lambert. Jaime Barta scored a run on a wild pitch and Lambert scored when Shayna Espy reached on an error.

NOTES: Butler improved to 6-1 all-time against Iowa Western. The Grizzlies have won four straight against the Reivers. Monday's doubleheader was the first time the two teams have faced each other since 2014... Talley now has 15 home runs on the season, which ranks tied for 10th in single-season history... With a hit in both games against Iowa Western, Gutierrez has now reached base in 28 straight games by either a hit, walk or error.