SALINA, Kan. — Butler softball earned a pair of run-rule victories on the road Saturday by defeating Kansas Wesleyan JV to improve to 4-0 on the season.
The top-ranked Grizzlies took the first game by a 19-6 count, then set a season-high mark in runs scored with a 28-6 rout over the Eagles in Game 2.
The 28 runs scored by the Grizzlies in the nightcap were the second-most in school history, just two away from tying the school mark. Butler scored 30 runs in a 30-6 win over Allen County back on April 10, 2005 in Wichita.
Butler will have two weeks off from competition before heading to Fort Worth, Texas for five games at the two-day Cowtown Classic, which begins on Friday, February 16. The Grizzlies will face Vernon (TX), Angelina (TX) and Central Nebraska on Friday, then play Iowa Central and North Central Texas on Saturday.
Game 1 - Butler 19, Kansas Wesleyan JV 6 (5 innings)
The Grizzlies exploded for nine runs on just four hits in the opening inning, with Peyton Reynolds driving in the opening run on a double to center to score Kenzie Young.
Butler would quickly go up 4-0 after a bases-loaded walk to Allison Jurgensen, an RBI single by Jordan Carlson and Alexis Reed scoring from third on a fielder's choice. Caylie Kifer had the big hit in the inning with a two-run double to left-center to bring in Jurgensen and Carlson.
Butler managed to add three runs without a hit in the second inning to take a 12-0 lead. An error and three consecutive walks allowed Jurgensen to score, then Brantley reached base on a fielder's choice that scored Carlson. Makensey Pankers scored from third after a wild throw to second in an attempt to throw out Brantley went into the outfield.
The Grizzlies scored one run each in the next two innings, with a delayed double-steal coming in the third as Brianna Robinson stole home. Pinch hitter Reagan Wilson added an RBI double to score Sara Mitchell in the fourth.
Butler added five more runs in the fifth, with Wilson providing the big hit on a three-run triple to right-center. Mitchell also had an RBI double, while Celina Sullivan drove in a run on a single to complete the scoring.
Butler used three pitchers, with starter Maddie Siemer and Kaylee Burnett each getting two innings of work. Siemer (2-0) allowed just one unearned run on one hit while striking out four and walking one batter. Burnett gave up five runs on six hits. Sullivan closed out the contest with a perfect inning and two strikeouts.
Wilson was the top offensive hitter for the Grizzlies, going 2-for-3 with four RBI, while Sara Mitchell went 2-for-2 with two runs scored. Five players scored two runs each for Butler, who finished with 12 hits and 11 walks.
Game 2 - Butler 28, Kansas Wesleyan 6 (5 innings)
Butler scored all four runs in the first inning with two outs, beginning with a two-run single up by the middle by Wilson to score Paige Pacher and Young. Two batters later, Anngie Salinas clubbed a two-run double to left to drive in Wilson and Mitchell.
In the second inning, Pacher scored from first on an error when Young singled to left and the ball snuck past the fielder. Young then came home on an Jurgensen double.
Leading 6-0 in the third and Salinas on first, Abi Cole grounded to third base, but the forceout throw to second was off-mark and rolled all the way to the outfield wall, allowing both Salinas and Cole to score on the play. Later in the inning, Pacher tripled to left and scored on a Jurgensen sacrifice fly.
Butler sent 20 batters to the plate and exploded for 14 runs on 10 hits in the fourth. Four straight walks opened the inning, which allowed Brantley to score the first run, then Sullivan hit a two-run double. Meghan Gutierrez and Brianna Robinson hit consecutive RBI singles, then scored when Carson Solis crushed a three-run home run to right-center.
Cole and Sullivan added consecutive two-run singles to put Butler up 21-1, then Robinson and Solis both walked with the bases loaded before Kansas Wesleyan recorded the final two outs to end the inning.
After serving up five runs in the fourth, Butler's offense grabbed them back in the fifth. With the bases loaded, Cole opened the scoring by coming home from third base on a wild pitch. Two batters later with the bases still full, Sullivan scored on a fielder's choice when a forceout throw home pulled the catcher away from the plate. Nykiah Hines then scored on a fielder's choice, then three straight walks allowed two runs to score. Butler managed to score five runs on just one hit.
Butler starter Megan Johnson (2-0) tossed just two shutout innings, allowing three hits and fanning two batters. Reynolds, Robinson and Sullivan each had one inning of work. Reynolds gave up four earned runs on three hits, while Robinson allowed two earned runs on three hits. Sullivan ended the game by striking out three batters following a leadoff single.
Offensively, the Grizzlies finished with 20 hits and had 14 walks in the contest. Pacher and Gutierrez each went 3-for-3 at the plate. Pacher, Hines, Cole and Sullivan each scored three runs. Solis led Butler with five RBI, while Sullivan drove in four.
NOTES: Despite missing out on a school record on most runs scored in a game, Butler managed to set a school record for most runs scored in an away contest. The previous high was 24, which came in a shutout win at Colby on Apr. 18, 2011... Through just four games, Butler is hitting .434 as a team. Out of 22 players with a plate appearance, 20 have recorded at least one hit... With three runs scored in the doubleheader, Young moved into the Butler top 10 leaderboard in career runs scored with 95, which ties Aujanae McCoy (2014-15) for seventh all-time.