WEATHERFORD, Texas – After dropping a pair of games on Friday, the Butler softball team rebounded Saturday to go 2-2 at the Coyote Chillout on the campus of Weatherford College.
Butler (8-3 overall) lost to Northeast Texas 6-3 and was shut out 2-0 by host Weatherford on Friday. The Grizzlies hammered Paris, Texas 8-1, then won a hard-fought 4-3 nine-inning contest against Navarro to finish out the four-game tournament.
The Grizzlies head to Fort Worth to play five games at the Cowtown Classic, beginning with three games on Friday. Butler opens with Central Nebraska at 9 a.m., then face Ranger (TX) and Vernon (TX) before finishing out the Classic with games against Clarendon (TX) and North Central Texas on Saturday.
Northeast Texas 6, Butler 3
Butler trailed 3-1 after one inning, getting the lone run on a Morgan Bohanan single which scored Alexis Clinton. Northeast's Macy Madewell tied the game on an RBI single, then the Eagles scored runs on a wild pitch and passed ball.
However, Northeast answered with a pair of runs – including a bases-loaded walk with no outs break the 3-3 tie.
Butler starter Jennifer Hittinger (1-1) took the loss, giving up four runs and walking five batters in just two innings of work.
Weatherford (TX) 2, Butler 0
Butler managed just two hits against Weatherford sophomore pitcher Taylor Maliska, while the Coyotes scored runs in the fourth and fifth innings against Grizzly starter Regan Mergele.
Weatherford's Jessica Torrez broke a scoreless tie by hitting an RBI single with the bases loaded in the fourth. Maddsion Hightower added an RBI single to score Aspen Grimes, putting the Coyotes up 2-0 after five.
A late seventh-inning rally fell shot when Brynn Minor grounded into a game-ending double play.
Mergele (4-2) was credited with the loss, allowing two runs on nine hits in six innings.
Butler 8, Paris (TX) 1
Mikayla Waggnor jumpstarted the offense with a three-run home run to left-center field to give Butler a 3-0 lead in the top of the second inning. Later in the inning, Becca Schulte would later add an RBI single to drive in Alexis Clinton to put the Grizzlies up 4-0.
Butler would not score again until the sixth inning, when the Grizzlies scored three runs. Waggnor drove in Danae Bina with an RBI double to left, then Clinton and Schulte followed with RBI singles. Danae Bina capped the Grizzlies' scoring with an RBI single to score Chloe Holman in the seventh.
Paris broke the shutout in the bottom of the seventh, scoring a run off starter Jennifer Hittinger (2-1), who tossed a complete game while striking out five batters.
Butler 4, Navarro (TX) 3 – 9 innings
Butler broke a scoreless tie in the second when Becca Schulte stole third base, then scored on a wild pitch. Morgan Heckart then gave the Grizzlies a 2-0 lead with an RBI single to score Brynn Minor.
Navarro would eventually tie the contest, picking up solo runs in the third and sixth inning. The Bulldogs had three straight hits to start the sixth inning and had two runners in scoring position with no outs. However, Butler pitcher Regan Mergele worked her way out of the pitching jam with three straight groundouts to third baseman Danae Bina.
Both teams left runners stranded at third in the eighth, then Navarro broke the 2-2 tie in the top of the ninth inning when Kaitlin Gorden hit a RBI single to right field.
Trailing 3-2 in the bottom of the ninth with one out, pinch runner Haylee Lorenz scored from third when a throw sailed past first base on Danae Bina's sacrifice attempt. Waggnor then singled through the left side of the infield to move Bina into scoring position. Two batters later, Megan Wurts hit a bloop single to center to score Bina to win the game.