BUTLER: Late Rally Sinks Bulldogs
March 20, 2014HOOSIER SPORTS 365
BUTLER SPORTS RELEASE
INDIANAPOLIS, IND. -- Visiting Ball State broke a scoreless deadlock with a three-run rally in the sixth inning and then held off Butler to post a 4-2 victory in a non-conference game on Wednesday, March 19. The setback dropped the Bulldogs to 8-17 on the season.
Both teams battled a strong headwind, gusting to 30 miles per hour, throughout the game, and pitching dominated for both squads through the first five innings. Butler sophomore Kristin Gutierrez blanked the power-packed Cardinals on two hits through five innings. Ball State's Nicole Steinbach was even better, retiring the first nine batters she faced and limiting the Bulldogs to just one bunt single in five innings.
The Cardinals (15-9) broke through in the top of the sixth inning. The rally started with a one-out, Butler error, followed by back-to-back, run-scoring doubles by Jennifer Gilbert and Taylor Rager. Audrey Bickel plated the third run with a single to right field.
Ball State added a fourth run in the top of the seventh inning, before Butler ended the shutout with a two-run, home run by junior Kristen Boros. The shot over the left field fence followed a single up the middle by freshman Chelsea Norwood. It was the second round-tripper this season by the Boros.
"That is one of the best hitting teams in the midwest," said Butler head coach Scott Hall of the Cardinals, pointing in particular to Gilbert, Rager and Bickel. "The wind helped us a bit, kept some balls in the park, but I thought our pitcher did a good job."
Gutierrez, who fell to 5-7 on the season, turned in her sixth consecutive complete-game performance. She recorded eight strikeouts and three walks, while surrendering seven hits.
"We have to find a way to stop those big innings," continued the Butler coach. "We had one bad inning again and it cost us."
The Bulldogs managed just two hits off of Steinbach, who improved to 5-4 on the year. Both Butler runs were scored off of Jocelyn Rivera, who pitched the seventh inning for the Cardinals.
Butler will continue its current, six-game homestand with a doubleheader against conference foe Creighton on Saturday, March 22. The Bulldogs' first BIG EAST game will start at noon at the Butler Softball Field.