The Butler softball team is still alive in the Region VI Tournament, but will have to work its way out of the losers bracket with a full day of play on Sunday to keep the season alive.
The Grizzlies, the tournament's top seed, were upset in their opening game as fourth-seeded Barton never trailed and won 5-4. Butler then played second-seeded Seward in the loser's bracket and stayed alive with a 13-5 victory that was called early due to run rule.
That victory eliminated Seward from the tournament. Butler now must play Garden City at noon tomorrow. The loser is eliminated. The winner then must beat Barton twice if it is to win the tournament.
Butler has won four straight Region VI titles and six of the past eight. Just once in that time span has Butler had to come back through the loser's bracket to do so, that coming in 2012.
Barton 5, Butler 4
Barton took a 1-0 lead on a solo home run in the top of the first inning. Butler answered with a solo home run from Danae Bina in the bottom of the third, tying the game 1-1.
Barton then got another solo home run in the top of the fourth and put up three more runs in the top of the sixth to take a 5-1 lead.
Butler got its second home run of the game from Monica Islava. Her solo shot brough Butler back within 5-2 in the bottom of the sixth.
The Grizzlies had one more chance in the bottom of the seventh. The Grizzlies got a two-run inside-the-park home run from Aujanae McCoy to get within a run, but couldn't tie the game.
McCoy finished the game 3-4 at the plate, while Ally Knopp was 2-3.
Kaelah McMullin took the loss, her first in her past 16 decisions. She is now 16-8. Taylor Bugner beat Butler for the second time this season and is now 13-9 on the season.
Butler 13, Seward 5 (5 innings)
Butler fell behind 2-0 in the top of the first inning, but came back with two runs in the bottom of the first to tie the game 2-2.
The Grizzlies then took a 3-2 lead as Gracie Bogle doubled and scored on a wild pitch in the bottom of the second inning.The Grizzlies scored twice in the third inning to take a 5-2 lead, but Seward came back and tied the game 5-5 in the top of the fourth.
Butler then scored three run in the third and five more in the fifth inning to end the game by run rule.
Monica Islava and Haylee Lorenz both homered. Eight of the nine Butler batters had a hit, while Aujanae McCoy, Megan Wurts, Morgan Heckart and Gracie Bogle had two hits apiece. Heckart drove in three runs for the Grizzlies.
Jenny Hittinger went the distance for Butler, allowing five runs. None of the runs were earned as Butler committed three errors defensively. She is now 16-6 on the season.