No. 9 Butler runs win streak to 20, shuts out Garden City

No. 9 Butler runs win streak to 20, shuts out Garden City

Butler softball extended its winning streak to 20 straight games with a pair of one-hit shutouts against Garden City on Wednesday afternoon at East Park.

Alexis Reed hit two home runs and drove in five runs while Celina Sullivan threw six shutout innings, allowed just one hit and struck out 12 batters to help Butler take Game 1 by a 7-0 score. In the second game, Maddie Siemer had a complete game one-hitter with six strikeouts as the Grizzlies run-ruled the Broncbusters 8-0 in five innings.

Butler had just its second doubleheader shutout sweep of the year, after achieving the feat in the home season opener against Oklahoma Wesleyan JV on Jan. 31.

The ninth-ranked Grizzlies (29-3 overall, 16-0 conference) remained perfect in Jayhawk Conference play with the home doubleheader sweep of Garden. With the two wins, Butler has now won 63 regular season conference victories dating back to 2016.

Butler will step out of conference play with a 1:00 p.m. road doubleheader at Northern Oklahoma-Tonkawa on Sunday. Originally scheduled for Saturday, the games were moved to Sunday due to rain in the weather forecast.

Game 1 - Butler 7, Garden City 0

Butler scored three runs on just one hit - a three-run home run by Alexis Reed - to open the scoring in the first inning. With one out, Kenzie Young was hit by a pitch, stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch. After Brianna Robinson walked with two outs, Reed hit a blast to left field to give Butler a 3-0 lead.

In the third inning, Young led off with a single up the middle, then stole second base again. Two batters later, Robinson doubled to left-center to score Young. Reed followed with another homer - her team-high 11th of the season - a two-run shot to left for a 6-0 Grizzly lead.

Young provided Butler's last run of the game with a two-out RBI double to right-center to score Shalee Brantley.

Celina Sullivan (10-1) was dominate in the circle with a one-hitter through six innings. In innings three through five, Sullivan had eight outs all by strikeout.

Garden's best chance to break the shutout came in the top of the fourth inning after Alyssa Dilley reached first on an infield error. Sullivan then had two swinging strikeouts before Bailee Muxlow-Vo reached first on an error by Sullivan. The Busters loaded the bases on a walk, but Sullivan was able to get the third out on a strikeout.

Sullivan then retired the Busters in order in the fifth inning with three strikeouts. The sophomore added one more K in the sixth, finishing with 12 strikeouts in the contest. Robinson threw the final inning, giving up two walks and striking out one batter.

Both Young and Reed went 2-for-3 with two runs scored, while Reed drove in five runs with two homers. Young had a double with two stolen bases.

Game 2 - Butler 8, Garden City 0 (5 innings)

Young set a new Butler record with her 13th career triple, hitting a three-bagger to left with one out in the first inning. She passed Gabrielle Hart, who had 12 triples while playing just one season for the Grizzlies in 2007. However, Young did not score as both teams were scoreless after one inning.

Butler broke through in the second inning after Allison Jurgensen moved two runners into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt. Caylie Kifer followed with a single up the middle to drive in pinch runner Nykiah Hines.

Leading 1-0 after two innings, Butler had its big inning with four runs in the third. The Grizzlies loaded the bases with one out on a Reagan Wilson single and consecutive walks to Brianna Robinson and Alexis Reed. Anngie Salinas then smacked a two-run double to left-center to score Wilson and pinch runner Megan Wurts.

After a foul pop-up for the second out, Kifer tripled to left-center to drive in Salinas and Reed.

Reed added a sacrifice fly to score Young in the fourth inning to give Butler a 6-0 lead.

In the fifth, Garden recorded two outs and appeared likely to avoid a run-rule loss. However, Tamarah Mascher kept the game going with a single to center. Pinch runner Shalee Brantley then stole second and scored on a Jordan Carlson double to left-center. Young ended the game with a single past first base to score Carlson for the run-rule win.

Maddie Siemer (12-2) tossed her first complete-game shutout of the season by throwing all five innings. Siemer allowed just one hit, walked two and struck out six batters - including the first three she faced.

Young went 3-for-4 to extend her hitting streak to 20 games, while Kifer was 2-for-2 with three RBI in the win.

NOTES: Young is hitting .559 (33-of-59) during the streak and has scored 32 runs. She has scored at least one run in each of the 20 games. The Game 2 performance was her second three-hit game of the season and second in five games... Sullivan recorded her second straight game with double-digit strikeouts and now has three games of 12 strikeouts or more this season... Butler recorded its first conference doubleheader shutout of the season. The last time the Grizzlies shut out a Jayhawk Conference opponent in a doubleheader came against Garden City last season on April 19 (15-0, 13-0). Butler achieved the feat three times during last year's national title run.