Butler softball opens 2018 season with sweep of OWKU

Butler softball opens 2018 season with sweep of OWKU

Defending back-to-back national champion Butler softball began the 2018 regular season with a pair of shutouts over Oklahoma Wesleyan JV on Wednesday at East Park.

The top-ranked Grizzlies won the opening contest 4-0, then run-ruled the Eagles 8-0 in five innings for the second victory. 

Butler will continue non-conference play on Saturday with a road doubleheader against Kansas Wesleyan JV in Salina. First pitch is at 2:00 p.m.


Game 1 - Butler 4, Oklahoma Wesleyan JV 0

Sophomore starter Maddie Siemer tossed five shutout innings for the Grizzlies' first win of the season. The righthander allowed just two hits, two walks and struck out six in the win.

Butler scored a run in each of the final four innings at bat, beginning with the third inning. The Grizzlies loaded the bases, then scored the game's first run when Paige Pacher came home from third base on an infield single by Allison Jurgensen.

In the fourth, a bases-loaded walk to Alexis Reed brought in Tamarah Mascher from third to put Butler up 2-0.

Pinch hitter Celina Sullivan drove in Butler's third run in the fifth inning with an RBI single to left to score Abi Cole.

Butler continued to empty the bench in the sixth, as Anna Williams batted in the final run on a single to center, which plated Jordan Carlson.

Sullivan closed the game for her first save of the yearas she threw the final two innings and fanned four batters.

Game 2 - Butler 8, Oklahoma Wesleyan JV 0 (5 innings)

A four-run third inning by the Grizzlies' offense was the highlight of the nightcap, while Butler kept Oklahoma Wesleyan JV scoreless for the second straight game.

Alexis Reed put Butler up 1-0 with a solo home run down the left-field line in the second inning.

In the third, Abi Cole led off with a single, then stole second base. Sara Mitchell followed with a single to center to advance Cole to third, but a wild throw allowed Cole to score.

Butler would load the bases after a walk and hit by pitch, then Jordan Carlson cleared the bases with a single to center. Kenzie Young and Meghan Guiterrez scored on the hit, then Breanna Robinson came home on a fielding error on the play.

Leading 5-0 in the fourth inning, the Grizzlies grabbed a pair of runs on a Young sacrifice fly to score Anngela Salinas, then Gutierrez singled in Sara Mitchell.

With two out in the fifth inning, Jurgensen walked and then scored when pinch hitter Anna Williams doubled to right-center. The run gave Butler its first run-rule victory of the season.

Megan Johnson picked up the win with four shutout innings, allowing just three hits and striking out four. Brianna Robinson tossed the final inning and recorded all three outs with strikeouts after giving up a leadoff single.

Mitchell led Butler at the plate by going 2-for-2, while Carlson had two RBI.

NOTES: Under head coach Doug Chance, Butler is 10-3 in season openers and 12-1 in home season openers. The Grizzlies have won six straight openers, with the last season-opening loss coming on Feb. 10, 2012 (4-3, vs. Paris, TX in Fort Worth).