COLBY, Kan. - Butler softball stayed undefeated on the 2017 season with two road victories at Colby on Saturday.
The No. 1-ranked Grizzlies (36-0 overall, 12-0 conference) run-ruled Colby 12-1 in five innings to win the opener, then defeated the Trojans 11-2 in Game 2 for the sweep.
Butler extended its overall winning streak to a school-record 74 straight games dating back to last year's national title run. The Grizzlies ran their winning streak in Jayhawk Conference play to 35 games and have won 20 straight road games, which are both also top marks in the program's history.
The Grizzlies will return to action on Wednesday with a home doubleheader against Dodge City, then face Pratt for two games on Thursday. Both doubleheaders willl start at 2:00 p.m. from East Park.
Game 1 - Butler 12, Colby 1 (5 innings)
After a scoreless first inning, Brynn Minor led off the second inning with a solo home run - her team-high 18th of the season. Two batters later, Allison Jurgensen followed with a two-run shot to center as Butler took a 3-0 lead.
In the fourth with the bases loaded, Becca Schulte singled to right-center to score Paige Pacher and Ki'Audra Hayter. Schulte would later score from 3rd when Jurgensen reached first on an outfield error.
With Butler leading 6-0, Colby broke the shutout in the bottom of the fourth with a solo home run by Dani Asche off Grizzly starter Regan Mergele.
Butler tacked on six more runs in the fifth, beginning with a Hayter two-run home run to center. Reagan Wilson and Jurgensen followed later in the inning with RBI singles to give the Grizzlies a 10-1 lead. Consecutive errors led to Nykiah Hines and Jurgensen scoring to cap the Grizzlies' six-run inning.
Mergele (17-0) tossed four innings and allowed just one earned run on five hits while walking two and striking out one. Maddie Siemer finished the game with one shutout inning, giving up just one walk and no hits.
Jurgensen led Butler offensively by going 2-for-4 with two runs scored and three RBI, while Hayter was 2-for-4 with two runs scored and two runs driven in.
Game 2 - Butler 11, Colby 2
Butler scored three runs in the opening inning, beginning with a Brynn Minor sacrifice fly to score Ki'Audra Hayter from third base. Darrianne Hale followed with an RBI single up the middle to plate Becca Schulte. Hale later scored on an Alexis Reed single.
Grizzly starter Celina Sullivan worked out of a second-inning bases-loaded jam to keep the Trojans scoreless. Butler was credited with an inning-ending double play on runner interference as Hayter was run into at second fielding an assist from Schulte.
Colby would score two runs the next inning with RBIs from Lexi Andersen and Madi Shawver.
Alexis Reed put Butler up 4-2 when she led off the fifth inning with a solo home run to left.
The Grizzlies added three insurance runs in the sixth, starting when Reed was walked with the bases loaded to score Schulte. Pinch runner Tamarah Mascher scored from third base on a fielder's choice, then an infield throwing error allowed Reed to score from second base.
Up 7-2 in the seventh, Butler opened the inning with three straight doubles by Young, Schulte and Minor to score two runs. With two runners in scoring position, Reed plated Minor with a sacrifice fly. Pinch hitter Nykiah Hines then singled to center to score Mascher.
Schulte was 4-for-5 with three runs scored, while Reed was 3-for-5 with two runs scored and two RBI.
Sullivan (6-0) threw three innings, giving up two earned runs on three hits while striking out two. Minor added three shutout innings of relief, allowing three hits and fanning three batters. Darrianne Hale closed the game by retiring all three batters on groundouts.
NOTES: With a 36-game winning streak to open the season, Butler now has the top two longest single-season winning streaks in Jayhawk Conference softball history. The Grizzlies won 38 straight games to finish last season. Johnson County won 35 consecutive games during the 2002 season... Butler did have one streak come to an end on Saturday. By going the full seven innings in Game 2, the Grizzlies had a streak of 10 straight run-rule victories against conference opponents. Butler has run-rule wins in 13 of its last 15 games and 17 overall on the season.