BEAUMONT, Texas – Butler softball rallied from a four-run deficit to defeat Northeast Texas and extend its consecutive winning streak to 58 victories on Sunday at the Region XIV Texas Crossover Tournament.
The second-ranked Grizzlies (20-0 overall) beat Navarro 7-1 in their opening game Sunday at the Beaumont Athletic Complex. Butler then scored six runs in the final two innings for a thrilling 6-4 victory over Northeast Texas.
Next up for Butler will be the conference opener on Wednesday with a doubleheader at Dodge City beginning at 2:00 p.m. The Grizzlies have won six straight Jayhawk West conference titles.
Butler 7, Navarro (TX) 1
Two innings later, Minor hit her seventh home run of the season – a two-run shot to left field to give the Grizzlies a 3-0 lead.
Hayter put Butler up 7-0 in the sixth with an RBI single that scored Caylie Kifer.
Regan Mergele (8-0) lowered her team-leading ERA to 0.32 with five shutout innings of no-hit ball. Mergele struck out eight hitters and walked three.
Hayter led Butler on offense by going 2-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI. Schulte and Minor drove in two runs each, while Young scored twice.
Butler 6, Northeast Texas 4
Northeast Texas scored four unearned runs in the first inning, as a throwing error opened the inning. Nadia Ballarin and Emily Burgos each drove in a run, then Kelsey Naomi added a two-run home run.
Butler was held scoreless until the sixth inning, when Brynn Minor broke the shutout with a solo home run down the left-field line. Allison Jurgensen then pulled the Grizzlies within a run with a two-run homer to center.
Trailing 4-3 with one out in the top of the seventh, Kenzie Young began the Grizzly rally with a single to center. After a walk to Becca Schulte, Brynn Minor hit a ground ball to third that was misplayed by Naomi and allowed Young to score the tying run.
Darrian Hale then put Butler in front with a two-run single through the left side, scoring both Schulte and Minor.
With Butler in the lead, Minor worked a perfect 1-2-3 inning with two strikeouts to seal the victory. Minor had three shutout innings, allowing no hits and striking out five for the win.
Hale and Jurgensen led the Grizzlies with two RBI each.