Montgomery's Twelve Strikeouts and Dickey's Three-Run Homer Lead Grizzlies to Opening Round Win Over Southern Idaho

Montgomery's Twelve Strikeouts and Dickey's Three-Run Homer Lead Grizzlies to Opening Round Win Over Southern Idaho

Story by Wyatt Ebersole

OXFORD, Ala -- The 8th-seeded Butler Softball team opened the 2023 NJCAA Division I World Series with a sensational opening round win over the 9th-seeded College of Southern Idaho (CSI) Golden Eagles. The win advances the Grizzlies into the winner's bracket of the tournament and is their 46th victory of the year. The loss for CSI drops into the loser's bracket and drops their record to 45-17 overall.

It was the Grizzlies who struck first, as after a two-out single by Ryanna Valdivia, and a double by Briona Woods, Cady Dickey mashed a ball to dead-center for a three-run home run in the bottom of the first inning to give the Grizzlies the early 3-0 lead. After a 1-2-3 half inning from starter Allyson Montgomery, JaKeyla McDaniel added to the lead when she beat out a bunt single to third base that brought Amayiah Hall in from third, pushing the Grizzly lead up to 4-0 through two innings. After a quick, quiet inning for each side in third, CSI threatened to get on the board in the fourth, getting two runners on with two outs, but Montgomery worked out of the jam with her 11th punch-out of the game to keep CSI scoreless through four. The following inning, the Golden Eagles managed to load the bases with one out behind a single and two walks and brought their first runner of the day home on a sacrifice fly to make it 4-1 through five innings. Both sides went scoreless in the sixth, meaning the Grizzlies carried their 4-1 lead into the seventh. Emma Koeneke entered the circle in the seventh for the Grizzlies and got straight to work, closing out the game for the Grizzlies, and earning the save.

Allyson Montgomery had a fantastic outing. She threw six innings, allowing just one run on two hits, while recording 12 strikeouts in her opening round start. 

Koeneke earned the save thanks to her solo inning of work in the ninth. She allowed a leadoff single but set down the next three batters in order behind two strikeouts.

Dickey finished 1-3 with her three-run homer in the first inning.

The Grizzlies advance in the winner's bracket and will face top-seeded Odessa tomorrow at 2PM.

NOTES: Morgan Bohanan is now 1-0 at the national tournament as head coach of Butler Softball...The Grizzlies are now 2-0 against CSI in the history between the teams...Butler Softball now has a 21-16 record at the national tournament since 2011 and are 6-5 in first round games over that time...Emma Koeneke is the first Grizzly pitcher to record a save at the national tournament since at least 2012...Allyson Montgomery reached the 400 career strikeout mark in the game and now sits at 410 for her Grizzly career.