Long-Ball Sinks Bulldogs
MUNCIE, IND. -- Host Ball State slugged five home runs and rolled past Butler, 11-2, in five innings in a non-conference game at the BSU Softball Complex on Tuesday (April 9). The run-shortened decision was the start of a stretch of seven games in six days for the Bulldogs.
Junior Lauren Schroeder ended the contest with a walk-off grand slam in the bottom of the fifth inning. The Cardinals, winners of 13 of their last 14 games, loaded the bases off two Butler pitchers, before Schroeder, who entered the game as a pinch-hitter, launched the game-winner with no outs.
Ball State (24-11) also picked up a pair of two-run home runs from Jennifer Gilbert and a pair of solo home runs from Amanda Carpenter.
Butler (12-18) scored both of its runs in the top of the fourth inning to cut Ball State's lead to 4-2. Freshman Audrey East started the two-out rally with a single, and Maria Leichty followed with a run-scoring double. Krista Hakola then plated Leichty with another two-bagger.
The Cardinals pounded out 11 hits off of three Butler pitchers. Starter Kristin Gutierrez, who allowed four runs in two-and-a-third innings, took the loss and fell to 2-9 on the season. Kelsey Schifferdecker pitched the first four innings for Ball State and improved to 9-2 on the season with the win.
Butler managed just four hits off of a pair of Ball State pitchers. Hakola had two hits in two trips to the plate to lead the Bulldogs.
Butler will begin a lengthy homestand with a non-conference doubleheader against Morehead State on Wednesday (April 10). The first game of that twinbill will start a 3 p.m., at the Butler Softball Field, and will start a string of 12 consecutive home games for the Bulldogs.