Sullivan throws no-hitter as Butler sweeps Northwest Tech

Sullivan throws no-hitter as Butler sweeps Northwest Tech

GOODLAND, Kan. — Butler sophomore Celina Sullivan threw her first complete-game no-hitter on Tuesday as part of a Grizzlies' run-rule doubleheader sweep of first-year program Northwest Kansas Technical College.

Sullivan (12-1) struck out 11 batters and allowed just one baserunner in an 8-0 Game 1 five-inning victory for Butler (33-3 overall, 18-0 conference). The fifth-ranked Grizzlies then extended their winning streak to 24 games by run-ruling Northwest Kansas Tech 11-1 in the second game.

The no-hitter was the second thrown by the Butler pitching staff this season, as Sullivan combined with Brianna Robinson and Payton Reynolds held Pratt hitless in a 14-0 road win back on March 15. 

Butler, who moved up four spots in the latest NJCAA Division I poll, has now won reached 65 straight regular-season conference wins.

The Grizzlies will continue conference play on the road with a doubleheader Wednesday at Colby beginning at 2:00 p.m.

Game 1 - Butler 8, Northwest Kansas Tech 0 (5 innings)

The Grizzlies broke a scoreless tie in the third when Kenzie Young hit a two-out single to right field that scored Shalee Brantley.

Meanwhile, Sullivan went through the Mavericks' order the first time with six strikeouts – including striking out the side in the third inning.

Up 1-0, Butler extended its lead with two runs in the fourth inning. After Brianna Robinson led off with a double down the left-field line, Alexis Reed doubled to right-center to score Robinson. With runners at first and second with two outs, Brantley singled to center to drive in pinch runner Nykiah Hines.

Sullivan's bid for a perfect game was broken in the bottom of the fourth when she hit Erika Silva with a pitch. However, Sullivan got a lineout and two swinging strikeouts to end the frame.

Young led off the fifth with single, then stole second base and advanced to third on an infield single by Reagan Wilson. After Wilson stole second to move both runners into scoring position, Robinson hit a sacrifice fly to score Young. Reed then hit a two-run homer to center for a 6-0 Butler lead.

Following Reed's homer, Northwest issued consecutive walks to Abi Cole and Midge Wurts, who both moved into scoring position on stolen bases. Cole scored from third base on an RBI groundout by Caylie Kifer, then Wurts came home on a Sara Mitchell RBI single.

Sullivan then struck out the final three batters to complete the no-hitter.

Game 2 – Butler 11, Northwest Tech 1 (5 innings)

Butler's offense needed no time to warm up in the second game of the doubleheader as the Grizzlies scored four times in the first inning. The first run was an RBI groundout by Kenzie Young that scored Paige Pacher.

Later in the inning, Butler would hit three straight solo homers as Brianna Robinson, Alexis Reed and Abi Cole all went deep in consecutive at-bats.

Up 4-0 in the second, Butler added another run from Shalee Brantley, who scored on groundout by Young. Brantley led off the inning with a walk, stole second and then advanced to third on a wild pitch.

The Grizzlies added two unearned runs in the third when Cole and Nykiah Hines scored on a dropped pop-up.

The final four runs of the game came on a grand slam by Kenzie Young in the top of the fifth. That allowed Young to extend her hitting streak to 24 consecutive games.

In the circle, Maddie Siemer got the win to improve to 14-2, going three innings while allowing one run. Brianna Robinson and Kaylee Burnett each threw a scoreless inning of relief.