Butler softball struggles at Temple Tournament

Butler softball struggles at Temple Tournament

TEMPLE, Texas – In its second weekend tournament of the season, the 10th-ranked Butler softball team struggled in all five games against Texas competition at the Temple Tournament, held Friday and Saturday at the A.J. Mercer Complex.

Butler dropped Friday's opening contest against Galveston by a 4-3 score, then lost to #6 Temple 9-1 and Tyler 4-2. On Saturday, the Grizzlies fell 5-1 to San Jacinto-South and 7-3 to Blinn.

The Grizzlies (3-8 overall) will next open conference play against Seward County on Tuesday, March 3 at Liberal. Butler was scheduled to play Hutchinson on Tuesday, but those games have been postponed due to weather.

Galveston (TX), 4, #10 Butler 3

Galveston held off Butler in Friday's opening game as the Grizzlies struggled defensively with seven errors.

After freshman Megan Wurts clubbed a two-run homer in the top of the third inning, Butler gave up four unearned runs on five errors in the bottom half of the inning.

The Grizzlies closed the deficit to one run in the sixth when Monica Islava's RBI double to left-center with two outs scored pinch runner Danae Bina. Temple would retire the next four straight batters to win the contest.

Offensively, Wurts went 2-for-3 with a home run and a single. Freshman pitcher Jenny Hittinger took the loss, throwing all six innings allowing six hits and striking out two batters.

#6 Temple (TX) 9, #10 Butler 1

Temple jumped out to a 4-0 lead after two innings. The Leopards scored three runs all with two outs in the first inning, then added another tally in the second.

Butler was able to break the shutout in the fifth as the Grizzlies had bases loaded with no outs. Jill Shipman's bloop hit to shallow right scored pinch runner Karlie Peck. Butler failed to score again, with a fielder's choice in between two strikeouts ended the rally.

Temple then scored five runs on five hits and two errors in the bottom of the fifth to win the contest by run-rule.

Butler's offense was limited to two hits, while freshman pitcher Kaelah McMullin received the loss. McMullin, who struck out two in 4 2/3 innings, gave up all nine runs with seven earned.

Tyler (TX) 4, #10 Butler 2

Butler jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the third inning when Megan Wurts hammered a two-run home run to right-center field to score Karlie Peck.

Tyler cut the lead in half on a Haley Mills solo home run in the bottom half of the third, then tied the game on a Marina Duran sacrifice fly in the fourth.

The Apaches took the lead for good with two runs in the fifth. Tyler's Jaclyn Molenaar's RBI double put Tyler up 3-2, then the Apaches later scored an insurance run on a groundout.

Wurts was the lone offensive threat for Butler, going 2-for-3 with two RBI on the home run. Gracie Bogle struck out five batters in just four innings pitched, but allowed two hits and two runs. Jenny Hittinger took the loss in relief, allowing two runs on three hits in two innings.

San Jacinto-South (TX) 5, #10 Butler 1

The Grizzlies scored the game's first run in the first inning when Monica Islava's single to left drove in Megan Wurts. However, it would be Butler's only score of the contest.

San Jacinto tied the contest in the third when Elizabeth Garcia scored from second on a fielding error. In the fifth, Brittany Woods clubbed a three-run homer to center field off McMullin to put Butler down 4-1. San Jacinto added another run in the seventh on throwing error.

Butler managed just three hits in the contest. McMullin received the loss, allowing four runs on five hits and walking five.

Blinn (TX) 7, #10 Butler 3

Butler dropped the final contest of the tournament, despite hitting three home runs.

Monica Islava broke a scoreless tie in the top of the fourth with a solo blast to left-center, but Blinn answered with two runs in the bottom of the inning to take a 2-1 lead.

In the fifth, Butler answered back with a solo home run to center by pitcher Kaelah McMullin. However, the Buccaneers tagged McMullin for four runs on five hits in the bottom-half of the fifth.

Trailing 7-2 in the seventh, pinch-hitter Danae Bina hit an opposite-field home run in just her second at-bat of the season. Bina's solo shot was the Grizzlies' last run of the game.

McMullin took the loss, allowing six runs on eight hits in two innings of relief of starter Jenny Hittinger, who left the contest with an injury.