ST. GEORGE, Utah - The Butler softball team allowed three runs with two outs in the top of the seventh, falling 5-3 to North Central Texas in the first round of the NJCAA Division I National Tournament at the Canyons Softball Complex.
With the loss, Butler (36-9) falls into the loser's bracket. The Grizzlies will face Darton State College from Georgia at 2:30 p.m. on Thursday (3:30 CST). Butler last played Darton in the 2011 national tournament, falling 7-3.
Butler has taken a 1-0 lead over North Central Texas on Wednesday, getting the run in the bottom of the fifth inning when Ashton Atwell drove a double off the top of the fence in left-center to score pinch runner Karlie Peck.
North Central Texas took advantage of two Butler errors in the top of the sixth to score two runs, taking a 2-1 lead. Both of those runs came with two outs.
The Grizzlies answered with a run in the bottom of the sixth to tie the game. Alyson Bressie reached on a walk and moved to second on a groundout. Aujanae McCoy singled up the middle and Bressie stopped at third as the throw from the center fielder went to the plate. When that happened, McCoy broke for second and the catcher threw the ball into centerfield, allowing Bressie to score.
The score held at 2-2 until the top of the seventh. With two on and two outs, the first base hit scored one run. Then the second hit brought in two more runs. In the bottom of the seventh, the bottom three batters in the Butler lineup were retired in order to end the game.