Bulldogs Finish Season With Doubleheader Sweep
KINGSTON, R.I. -- Butler supported two solid pitching performances with a strong offensive showing and closed out the 2013 softball campaign with a doubleheader sweep at Rhode Island on Sunday (May 5). The Bulldogs captured the opener, 6-2, and then finished the season with an 8-1 victory in the nightcap.
The two wins lifted Butler to 22-24 on the season and 11-9 in Atlantic 10 Conference play. The Bulldogs finished the season with a four-game winning streak and narrowly missed a berth in the A-10 Tournament, which begins Wednesday (May 8) at Massachusetts.
Freshman Kristin Gutierrez and senior Jenny Esparza set the tone with strong mound performances for the Bulldogs at Rhode Island. Gutierrez went the distance in the opener, allowing just two earned runs on seven hits. She struck out five and walked none, while improving to 7-11 on the year.
Esparza completed a successful weekend with her third consecutive victory. She gave up just one run on two hits in her complete-game performance, while finishing with eight strikeouts and no walks. The Butler righthander finished her final campaign with a 7-5 record, boosting her career mark to a school-record 49 wins.
Butler took control of the opening game in the third inning on a three-run, home run by senior Meaghan Sullivan. Senior Devin Brierly had a solo home run in the sixth inning, while junior Krista Hakola and sophomore Kristen Boros each drove in a run with a double in the game.
Brierly and Sullivan sparked a 15-hit attack for the Bulldogs in the nightcap. Brierly had two hits, including her second home run of the day, and drove in four runs to lead the offense, while Sullivan added her second three-hit performance of the day. Boros and senior Devin Dearing each added a pair of hits in the win.
The Bulldogs broke a 1-1 tie in the fourth inning on Brierly's two-run shot and then broke things open with four runs in the fifth inning. Brierly had a two-run single to cap the fifth inning rally.
That run support was more than enough for Esparza, who retired the final 14 batters she faced. On the weekend, the Butler senior posted a 3-0 record with 24 strikeouts and a 0.95 earned run average!
Sullivan had six hits in nine trips to the plate with two doubles, a home run, three runs batted in and five runs scored in the two victories. Brierly finished the day with four hits in six at bats with two home runs, five runs batted in and three runs scored. Boros also had four hits on the day.