Butler upsets top-seed Valparaiso
Fisher pitches Bulldogs past Crusaders into winner's bracket
VALPARAISO, Ind. -- Senior Breanna Fisher continued Butler's superb pitching, and the Bulldogs pounded out nine hits to upset top-seeded Valparaiso 6-1 in the second round of the 2012 Horizon League Championship on Thursday. The victory sends Butler into a "winners' bracket" game against No. 2 Loyola on Friday.
One day after sophomore Leah Bry tossed a three-hit shutout against Youngstown State, Fisher allowed just five hits, while holding the league regular-season champion Crusaders to just a single unearned run. Valparaiso (37-17) entered the game averaging nearly six runs per contest.
Fisher, who picked up her sixth win of the season, recorded four strikeouts and no walks in the complete-game effort. She retired 15 of the final 18 Crusaders she faced.
Butler (25-30) took a 1-0 lead in the second inning on a bases-loaded single by shortstop Kayla Gray. The Bulldogs then added three runs in the fifth inning on a bases-loaded walk to senior Mallory Winters and a two-run single by infielder Callie Dennison.
The final two Butler runs came in the sixth frame. Gray scored on a throwing error to make it 5-1, and senior Lauren McNulty drove in the final run with a sacrifice fly. It was the school-record seventh career sacrifice fly for the Butler centerfielder.
Winters led Butler's offensive attack with a pair of hits, including a double. Senior Erin Falkenberry scored two of the six Butler runs, while Dennison had a pair of runs batted in. The Bulldogs scored four runs off of Valparaiso starter Alex Lagesse (18-9) and two off of relief pitcher Shaleigh Jansen.