Butler finishes conference play with road sweep of Barton

Butler finishes conference play with road sweep of Barton

GREAT BEND, Kan. - The Butler softball team ended the conference regular season with a pair of road wins against Barton on Wednesday.

Butler (31-7 overall), ranked seventh in the NJCAA Division I poll, defeated Barton 14-3 and 5-3. The Grizzlies, who clinched their fourth straight conference championship on Monday with a sweep of Garden City, finished Jayhawk West play with a 15-1 record.

The Grizzlies will next host two games against Northern Oklahoma-Enid on Tuesday at 2 p.m. The home doubleheader will be the final regular season home game at East Park for Butler.

Game 1 - Butler 14, Barton 3

The Grizzlies, who never trailed in the contest, pounded out 17 hits as every starter contributed at least one hit. 

Butler's first four hitters - A'Liyah Rogers, Aujanae McCoy, Sydnee Eck and Kate James - set the table with a combined 8-for-11 for nine runs and seven RBI. Rogers went 3-for-3 with three runs scored and McCoy scored three times. James went 3-for-4 with two doubles and four RBI, while Eck added four RBI and two runs. Monica Islava, Jillian Navarrete and Ashton Atwell also had two hits each in the win.

Eck opened the scoring with a three-run home run to left field in the first inning. Navarrete would add another run when she scored on a Joselyn Dean single.

Barton countered with two runs in the bottom of the inning, then pulled within one run on an Ashlyn Osborne home run in the third.

The Grizzlies increased their lead to 7-3 in the fourth - scoring all three runs with two outs. With runners at the corners, Rogers scored on a throwing error by the catcher. After a walk to Eck, James drove in McCoy on a single to left. A poor throw to home allowed Eck to score on the play.

Butler then put the game away with a seven-run sixth inning as 13 batters were sent to the plate. With the bases loaded and no outs, Eck hit a sacrifice fly to left to score Alyson Bressie to begin the scoring. James followed with a two-run double and would later score on an error. Navarrete and Ashton Atwell added RBI hits in the inning. 

Eck earned her 23rd win of the season by throwing five innings and allowing three runs on five hits while striking out seven. Jayde Hansen pitched a scoreless sixth inning in relief.

Game 2 - Butler 5, Barton 3

Butler jumped out to a 2-0 lead after one inning on a pair of sacrifice flies to score A'Liyah Rogers and Aujanae McCoy. Eck added a solo home run in the third to give the Grizzlies a 3-0 lead.

Barton rallied to tie the game by scoring three runs in the fifth inning, but Butler responded with two runs in the top of the sixth.

With two outs and pinch runner Karlie Peck at first, Joselyn Dean doubled to left field. Peck would score on a throwing error on Dean's double. Alyson Bressie then hit a single to score Dean to put Butler up 5-3.

Eck (24-4), who tossed a complete game, held Barton scoreless for the final two innings. The freshman righty allowed three runs - two earned - on eight hits and fanned five batters.

Rogers and Dean both had two hits to lead the Grizzlies offensively.