March 1, 2014

Bulldogs Drop Narrow Decisions At Kentucky Invitational

LEXINGTON, KY. -- Eastern Kentucky scored three runs in the top of the eighth inning to capture a 6-3 decision over Butler and hand the Bulldogs their third straight loss at the Kentucky Invitational on Saturday (March 1).  Earlier in the day, the Bulldogs dropped a narrow 6-4 decision to Pittsburgh.

Butler never trailed against Eastern Kentucky, until the decisive three-run rally in extra innings.  In the first game, Pittsburgh jumped out to a 6-0 lead, before the Bulldogs unleashed a four-run rally in the top of the seventh inning.  Butler had the tying run in scoring position when the final out was made against the Panthers.

The Bulldogs, who dropped a game to Kentucky on the first day of the tournament, fell to 4-12 on the season.  Butler will take a brief break, before returning to action with six games in Florida, March 13-16.

Pittsburgh 6, Butler 4
Held in check for six innings, the Bulldogs mounted a seventh-inning, two-out rally that nearly tied the game.

Alex Kotter started the late rally with a leadoff single, and Maria Leichty followed with a walk.  Two outs later, back-to-back walks to Callie Dennison and Riley Carter plated Butler's first run.  Sarah Gronowski followed with a single to left to drive in the Bulldogs' second run.  Brandyce Sallee then walked to drive in the third run and Carter later scored on a wild pitch.  But a strikeout with Butler runners on second and third ended the game.

Pitt (8-7) jumped to an early lead in the second inning with three runs on four hits off of Butler starter Kristin Gutierrez.  The Panthers added a single run in the third inning and two more in the fourth for a 6-0 advantage.

Kotter and Chelsea Norwood led Butler's offense with a pair of hits each.  Gutierrez, who went the distance in the circle for the Bulldogs, fell to 1-5 on the season.

Eastern Kentucky 6, Butler 3
Butler starting pitcher Leah Bry limited Eastern Kentucky (7-6) to three runs on six hits through the first seven innings of the contest.  But the Colonels broke the game open with three runs on a single hit in the eighth inning.

Starting the top of the eighth frame with a runner on second base under the tie-breaker rules, Eastern Kentucky loaded the bases on a walk and a hit batter.  Sarah Fobbs then delivered the game's biggest blow with a two-run double to right-center field.  The Colonels scored their final run on an infield ground out.

Butler took a 2-0 lead in the first inning on a two-run single by Norwood.  But the Colonels came back to tie the game with a pair of runs in the top of the second.

The Bulldogs went back in front in the bottom of the fourth inning on a run-scoring single by Gronowski.  Eastern Kentucky again tied the game with a single run in the fifth.  Butler had runners in scoring position in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings.

Krosley Ogden and Gronowski each had a pair of hits to pace Butler's offense.  Ogden scored one of Butler's three runs.

Bry (3-6) pitched all eight innings for the Bulldogs, allowing five earned runs on seven hits.  She had seven strikeouts and two walks in the contest.