FROST CLASSIC: Butler's softball team will travel to Chattanooga, Tenn., this weekend to continue an early road schedule at the 2014 Frost Classic, hosted by Chattanooga. The Bulldogs will open the tournament on Friday, Feb. 21, with a double-header against Northwestern State at 1:30 p.m. and Chattanooga at 4 p.m. Butler will then continue with another double-header on Saturday, Feb. 22, facing Radford at 11 a.m. and Toledo at 1:30 p.m. The Bulldogs will close out the tournament on Sunday, Feb. 23, against Austin Peay at 11 a.m. The Frost Classic will be Butler's third tournament this month.
WEEKEND RECAP: The Bulldogs travelled to the 2014 Arkansas Invitational last weekend, finishing the tournament with an 0-4 mark. The losses dropped the team to 2-6 on the year. Butler kicked off the tournament with an 8-1 loss against Arkansas on Thursday, but battled with Jackson State on Friday, losing 1-0 in extra innings. Sophomore pitcher Kristin Gutierrez and senior pitcher Leah Bry gave up a combined five hits and zero runs through eight innings against Jackson State, but the Tigers scored the lone run in the ninth inning to secure a victory. Junior infielder Kristen Boros and senior infielder Callie Dennison each had two hits in the loss, and as a team, the Bulldogs had runners in scoring position in five of the nine innings and were thrown out at home in both the 4th and the 8th.
Butler faced UMKC on Saturday and Sunday in their final two games of the weekend. The Bulldogs lost the first game 7-6 in eight innings, marking their second extra-innings matchup of the weekend and fourth extra-innings game of the year. Facing a 6-2 deficit in the 3rd inning of that game, Butler rallied to tie the game in the 7th on an infield single by freshman Allie Tarrant that drove Boros home to bring the score to 6-6. Bry gave up the final UMKC run in the bottom of the 8th inning, but recorded a team-high nine strikeouts in her eight innings pitched. The Bulldogs closed out the tournament with a 9-3 loss in their second matchup with UMKC.
TOP PERFORMERS: Redshirt freshman infielder Alex Kotter was the top perfomer for the Bulldogs in Arkansas, recording five hits, two runs, one double, three RBIs, and her first home run of the season. Her .500 on-base percentage in 13 at-bats led the team on the weekend. Her strong performance brings her season total to eight hits, three RBIs, and a .308 batting average in eight starts.
FRESHMAN FOCUS: Along with Kotter, the Bulldogs continue to see boosts from their newcomers, as freshmen Brandyce Sallee and Chelsea Norwood have both started at least seven of the eight games played this season. Sallee leads the Bulldogs in hits (9), doubles (2), RBIs (6), slugging percentage (.560), and on-base percentage (.467) on the season in 25 at-bats. Norwood has posted five runs and five RBIs on the season in her 25 at-bats. Freshman Allie Tarrant has contributed at the plate this year, with a pair of hits and two RBIs in only eight at-bats, and she's seen time on the mound for the Bulldogs. The versaitle first-year player had a role in Butler's late-inning rally against UMKC last weekend.
BULLDOG BITS: Kotter's home run this weekend joins Sallee, Norwood, Boros, and Dennison for five total Bulldogs with home runs on the year...Leah Bry's 13 strikeouts in Arkansas brings her season total to 29, which ranks second among all BIG EAST pitchers.
Contact: Mike Murtaugh (firstname.lastname@example.org)