Bulldogs Travel To Kentucky For Weekend Tournament

UK INVITATIONAL: Butler's softball team will continue its road schedule this weekend, travelling to Lexington, KY, for the University of Kentucky Invitational.  The four-team tournament will begin on Friday, Feb. 28, and wrap up on Sunday, March 2. The Bulldogs will open the tournament on Friday with a game against tournament host Kentucky at 3 p.m. Butler will continue on Saturday with games against Kentucky (3 p.m.) and Eastern Kentucky (5 p.m.), before wrapping up play on Sunday with a noon contest against Pittsburgh.

WEEKEND RECAP: The Bulldogs travelled to the Frost Classic in Chattanooga this weekend, finishing the tournament 2-3. The weekend's games bring Butler's record to 4-9 on the season. The team began the tournament on Friday, Feb. 21, losing back-to-back matchups against Northwestern St. and Chattanooga despite strong pitching performances from senior Leah Bry and sophomore Kristin Gutierrez. Bry had four strikouts and freshman outfielder Brandyce Sallee posted two singles for the Bulldogs in a 5-1 loss to Northwestern St., followed by six strikeouts for Gutierrez in the 3-1 loss against Chattanooga.

Butler bounced back on Saturday, Feb. 22, with a 2-0 victory over Radford. Bry completed her first complete game shutout of the season, finishing with a season-high ten strikeouts. Sallee hit a two-out double in the third inning, and freshman infielder Chelsea Norwood drove her home to give Butler a 1-0 lead. Junior outfielder Sarah Gronowski drove in the second run for the Bulldogs in the fourth inning on a bases-loaded single. Following a 3-1 loss to Ohio on Saturday night in which Gutierrez posted six more strikeouts, the team earned its second victory of the tournament on Sunday, Feb. 23, defeating Austin Peay 2-1. Bry pitched her second straight complete game, finishing with nine strikeouts. Tied 1-1 in the fifth inning, Sallee drove in junior infielder Kristen Boros for the game-winning run.

TOP PERFORMERS: Bry and Sallee were the top performers for the Bulldogs this weekend, each playing key roles in the two Butler victories. Bry finished the weekend with 23 strikeouts and a 0.90 ERA for a 2-1 record. She is now 3-4 on the season, posting a 3.86 ERA and 52 total strikeouts in 46 innings pitched.

Sallee had five hits, one double, three RBIs, a .333 batting average, and .421 on-base percentage at the Frost Classic, leading the Bulldog offense. Among players with at least 15 at bat's, the freshman outfielder now leads the team in batting average (.350), hits (14), RBIs (9), slugging percentage (.500), and on-base percentage (.449), and is tied for the team high in runs (4), doubles (3), and home runs (1).

BULLDOG BITS: Leah Bry was named BIG EAST Pitcher of the Week for her strong efforts in Chattanooga...Bry's 52 strikeouts on the year ranks second among all BIG EAST players, trailing only DePaul's Kirsten Verdun, who has 81 strikeouts this season...Sallee is tied for third in the BIG EAST with 14 hits, and her nine RBIs is tied for second in the conference...Junior catcher Maria Leichty leads all BIG EAST hitters with four sacrifice bunts on the year. Teammate Chelsea Norwood is second in the conference with three.

Contact:  Mike Murtaugh (mmurtaug@butler.edu)