The Butler Grizzlies began their journey to get back to Yuma, Arizona and the NJCAA World
Series on Friday, and they got a step closer to repeating as the Region VI tournament champs
for the sixth consecutive year, winning the first game of the tournament against the eighth
seeded Northwest Tech Mavericks, 12-0 in run rule fashion at Legends Park in Dodge City on
The win finishes up a regular season sweep of Northwest Tech that saw the Grizzlies outscore
the Mavs 72-3 in five games on the year, winning all five games in run rule fashion.
The Grizzlies started slow, but the bats woke up. The Mavs held the Grizzlies scoreless through
two innings before the Butler offense exploded for five runs in the third and seven runs in the
fourth inning, enough to cement the run rule victory.
Back to back home runs from Alex Olson and Mariah Wheeler were the difference in the third
inning, Olson's shot to left was good for two runs and one pitch later Mariah Wheeler hit a bomb
through the right side for back to back bombs. Kendyl Anderson hit a three run shot down the
right field line in the fourth, and Gentry Shepherd shot the final home run of the day with a two
run bomb to right center field. Anderson's three RBIs led the team and Olson and Shepherd
both had two as the Grizzlies exploded for 12 runs on 10 hits.
Emma Koeneke got the start but pitched only one inning of shutout softball and then handed
things over to Ariel Matula who earned her very first victory of her career, pitching the next three
innings and allowing no runs on just three hits, improving her record to 1-0. Kendyl Anderson
preserved the shutout with a shutdown fifth inning, retiring the Mavs in order.
The win moves the Grizzlies into the winners bracket here in Dodge City, moving on to face the Barton Cougars at Legends Park on Saturday at noon. The victory improves the Grizzlies' record to 43-2 on the year and extends their win streak to 18 games.