Butler opens regional play with run-rule win over Barton

Butler opens regional play with run-rule win over Barton

WICHITA, Kan. - The Butler softball team opened up the Region VI Tournament with an offensive explosion in a 13-3 run-rule victory over Barton at Wichita State's Wilkins Stadium on Saturday.

With the opening-round win, Butler (32-7 overall) advances to Sunday's winning bracket semifinal at 10 a.m. against Seward County, who edged out Garden City 2-1.

Butler pounded out 16 hits in the contest and jumped out to a 10-0 lead after two innings - including six runs in the second.

Aujanae McCoy led off the first with an infield single, then stole second. McCoy would score the game's first run on Sydnee Eck's double to right-center, then Eck crossed home on an Ashton Atwell infield single. Kate James made the score 3-0 on a throwing error when Atwell stole second base. Atwell then scored when Jillian Navarrete singled up the middle.

In the second inning, McCoy opened the scoring on a double steal. Monica Islava and Jillian Navarrete had RBI singles to give Butler a 7-0 lead. Navarrete would later score on an throwing error, then Carly Farmer added an RBI single to score Joselyn Dean. Alyson Bressie crossed the plate for the sixth run of the inning when she scored from third on a wild pitch.

Butler added two more runs in the third when Ashton Atwell hit her eighth home run of the season - a two-run blast to center - to give the Grizzlies a 12-0 lead.

Barton finally got on the scoreboard in the fourth when Allison Smith hit a three-run home run, but a Jordan Baughman RBI single to score Eck in the bottom of the inning gave Butler a 10-run lead.

It appeared the Cougars would extend the game in the fifth, but a baserunning error ended the rally when catcher Kate James recorded the final out by tagging Barton's Darby Grizzard in a rundown.

Eck started the game for Butler and tossed three scoreless innings, allowing just one hit and striking out three.

Offensively, Eck went 3-for-4 with two doubles, three runs and an RBI. Dean went 3-for-3, while Atwell went 2-for-4 with three RBI and two runs scored.