No. 11 Butler softball earns run-rule home sweep of Barton

No. 11 Butler softball earns run-rule home sweep of Barton

Butler softball continued its dominance in league play with a run-rule doubleheader sweep of Barton on Saturday at East Park.

The 11th-ranked Grizzlies (25-3 overall, 12-0 conference) shut out Barton 15-0 in the opening game, then completed the sweep with an 11-3 win in the second game. With the wins, Butler extended its winning streak to 16 consecutive games and has now won 59 straight regular season conference games.

On Monday, Butler will travel to Liberal to face Seward County in a 2:00 p.m. doubleheader. Seward (23-13, 10-0) and Butler remain as the two undefeated teams left in conference play.

Monday's doubleheader was originally scheduled for last Wednesday in El Dorado, but was rained out. With a chance of freezing rain in the forecast in El Dorado and warmer temperatures expected Monday in Liberal, the series will be moved out west. Butler will then host Seward at home on Saturday, April 21.

The Grizzlies will return home on Wednesday for a doubleheader against Garden City, beginning at 2:00 p.m.

Game 1 - Butler 15, Barton 0 (5 innings)

Butler wasted no time in taking a lead against Barton in the first game, as the Grizzlies loaded the bases with one out behind two walks and a Brianna Robinson infield single. Alexis Reed then hit a grand slam home run over the left-field scoreboard to give Butler a 4-0 lead.

The Grizzlies added three straight RBI infield singles from Caylie Kifer, Shalee Brantley and Paige Pacher to complete the seven-run inning.

In the third, Butler padded its lead with eight runs on five hits. Brantley and Pacher led off the inning with singles, then Kenzie Young drove in both runners with a triple to right field. Young then scored on a wild pitch for a 10-0 Grizzly lead.

Later in the inning, Butler loaded the bases for Makensey Pankers, who reached first on a throwing error. Two runs scored on the play, with pinch runners Midge Wurts and Jordan Carlson crossing the plate.

Celina Sullivan followed with a three-run home run to cap Butler's scoring.

Reed and Sullivan drove in seven of Butler's 14 runs. The Grizzly offense finished with 12 hits, nine walks and three stolen bases.

Sullivan (8-1) earned her eighth straight win with three shutout innings, giving up just one hit and struck out five batters. Robinson closed the game out with two innings of work, allowing one hit with one walk and two strikeouts.

Game 2 - Butler 11, Barton 3 (5 innings)

Butler had another hot start agianst Barton in the second game, as Paige Pacher reached first on an infield single, stole second and scored on an RBI triple by Kenzie Young. Payton Reynolds followed with a double to left-center to drive in Young.

After a walk to Brianna Robinson, Alexis Reed singled to right-center to plate Reynolds. Abi Cole added a sacrifice fly which scored Robinson for a 4-0 Grizzly lead.

In the Butler third, Renyolds led off with a walk, then scored on a Robinson single and fielding error. Two batters later, Cole doubled to center to bring in Robinson.

Barton scored its first run of the doubleheader in the fourth inning with a solo home run by Emma Horsch, but Butler answered back in the bottom-half of the frame with a solo homer to center by Young.

Barton added two runs without a hit in the fifth, scoring one run on a double play and adding another on a fielding error.

However, Butler ended the contest by run-rule with four runs in the fifth. Anngie Salinas drove in pinch runner Nykiah Hines from third base with a sacrifice fly. After the Grizzlies loaded the bases with two outs, Young singled through the left side to score two runs. Reagan Wilson ended the game with an RBI single up the middle to drive in Meghan Gutierrez.

Young finished 3-for-4 with four RBI and two runs scored, while Pacher was 2-for-2 with a run scored. Reynolds and Robinson also scored two runs each.

Maddie Siemer (10-2) had a complete-game victory, going the full five innings and allowing two earned runs on four hits. The sophomore finished with six walks and six strikeouts.

NOTES: Young's triple in the second game was her 12th career triple, tying her for first all-time at Butler with Gabrielle Hart (2007)... Butler has won 10 straight games against Barton, who handed the Grizzlies their last regular season conference loss back on Mar. 3, 2016. Under head coach Doug Chance, the Grizzlies are 53-6 overall against Barton.