PRATT, Kan. – Butler softball recorded its second run-rule doubleheader sweep of the season, defeating Pratt 20-1 and 14-3 in a pair of five-inning contests Thursday at Lemon Park.
In the first game, Grizzly freshman Anna Icenhower set a school record by driving in nine runs in the 20-1 victory. Icenhower hit three home runs, which also matched the school record for most homers by an individual in a game.
Butler (19-5 overall, 11-1 conference) then rolled to a 14-3 Game 2 win behind a six-run fourth inning, which saw Taliya Talley, Icenhower and Asia Henry each hit two-run homers in the frame. Delainey Fenoglio added a three-run home run.
Winners of eight straight overall and nine conference games, Butler extended its road conference winning streak to 41 games and have now won 26 straight against Pratt.
Game 1 – Butler 20, Pratt 1 (5 innings)
The Grizzlies then blew the game open with a 10-run second inning on just two hits and three Pratt errors. Butler took advantage of an error and four straight walks to score Jordan Carlson and Jaime Barta. With the bases loaded and one out, Icenhower hit a grand slam home run to center field to give Butler an 7-0 lead.
After a pitching change, Butler loaded the bases on a Makensey Pankers double, a fielding error and a Carlson walk. Barta then reached first on a fielder's choice to score Pankers, then Lambert was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to score Sara Mitchell. Brianna Robinson capped the scoring by hitting a fly ball that was dropped by Pratt left fielder Michaela Trevino, allowing both Barta and Lambert to score.
Up 11-0 after two innings, the Grizzlies led off the third inning with three straight singles by Icenhower, Pankers and Mitchell, which led to a run. With two outs, Lambert doubled to right-center to score Pankers and Mitchell for a 14-0 Butler lead.
In the top of the fourth, Icenhower clubbed her second homer of the game with a two-run blast to right-center, which scored Robinson who led off the inning with a single to center.
Pratt scored its only run of the game in the bottom of the fourth when Trevino singled down the left-field line off reliever Cassidi Doyle to score Lexi Sanborn.
Butler added four more runs in the fifth, as Lambert and Meghan Gutierrez were issued consecutive walks with one out. Two batters later, Talley singled to right field to score Lambert. Icenhower followed with her third homer of the contest with a three-run bomb to left field.
Icenhower finished the game with a 4-for-5 performance at the plate and scored four runs. The nine RBI broke the previous record of eight, which was set by Becca Schulte in an NJCAA Tournament game on May 18 against Howard (TX).
In addition to Icenhower's career day, Lambert went 2-for-2 with three runs scored and three RBI, while Talley and Pankers had two runs each. All nine Butler starters scored at least one run, with eight players scoring two runs each.
Butler starter Megan Johnson (6-1) picked up her sixth win of the year, throwing three shutout innings and allowing just one hit while fanning one. Doyle threw two innings of relief, giving up one unearned run on one hit and striking out two.
Game 2 – Butler 14, Pratt 3 (5 innings)
The Grizzlies jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning after consecutive singles by Taylor Lambert and Taliya Talley. Lambert scored the first run on a sacrifice fly by Brianna Robinson, then Delainey Fenoglio singled to right to drive in Talley.
Pratt scored an unearned run on a dropped third strike to Lexi Sanborn, as Celeste Chavez scored from third base on a throw down to first. Robinson would end up recording three strikeouts to end the inning.
Robinson, who finished with a season-high nine strikeouts in her first start of the year, recorded seven strikeouts after just two innings. The sophomore righthander got Kaitlyn Reed swinging on a third strike to open the second inning, but the ball went to the backstop which allowed Reed to advance to first. Robinson then retired the next three batters with swinging strikeouts.
After Butler was held scoreless for the only inning of the doubleheader in the third inning, Pratt grabbed a run back on an RBI triple by Sanborn.
Behind three home runs in the fourth, Butler extended its lead to 11-2 behind three home runs in the fourth inning. Lambert led off the frame with a walk, then scored on Talley's sixth homer of the year – a two-run shot to right. Two batters later, Icenhower hit her team-high 10th home run with a two-run blast to straight-away center. Asia Henry capped the scoring in the fourth with her first homer of the season on a two-run shot to left field.
In the Pratt fourth, the Beavers scored its final run on a single by Chavez and a throwing error, which allowed Monica Courville to score all the way from second base.
Fenoglio provided the final runs for the Grizzlies with a three-run home run to left-center, scoring Talley and Robinson.
Talley and Fenoglio each had three hits to lead a 16-hit attack, while Lambert, Robinson, Henry and Sara Mitchell had two hits a piece. Lambert and Talley both scored three runs. Fenoglio led the Grizzlies with four runs driven in.
Robinson (2-1) tossed four innings and gave up just one earned run on two hits, while Kris Lucas had a shutout inning in relief.
NOTES: Icenhower's three home runs in Game 1 tied a Butler record that has been accomplished by three previous players. Kate James first achieved the feat on Feb. 8, 2013 against Trinity Valley. During the 2017 national title run, both Becca Schulte (March 7 vs. Maple Woods, MO; May 18 vs. Howard, TX) and Brynn Minor (March 13 at Pratt; May 20 vs. Salt Lake, UT) each hit three homers in a game twice… In her first starting appearance, Lambert reached base in her first eight plate appearances and finished 4-of-5 with six runs scored, three doubles and five RBI… Butler improved to 30-2 overall against Pratt under head coach Doug Chance.