COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – For the first time in program history, the Butler softball team is ranked first in the NJCAA Division I poll.
Prior to the No. 1 ranking, the Grizzlies (32-2 overall, 8-0 conference) spent the previous four weeks ranked second behind Indian River (Fla.), who dropped to fifth place this week. The Grizzlies have the fewest losses of any team ranked in the national top 20.
Butler started the season with 15 straight wins and is currently on a nine-game winning streak since dropping its second game of the year.
The Butler offense is one of the top teams in the nation statistically, ranking in the top 10 in batting average (.389, 4th), slugging percentage (.625, 5th), home runs (46, 6th), on-base percentage (.449, 8th) and doubles (81, 10th). The Grizzlies have won 14 games by run-rule this season, including six of their last eight contests.
The Butler pitching staff has a 1.81 earned-run average and have limited opponents to a .190 batting average, which ranks second in the nation.
Butler will travel to Colby for a pair of road conference games this Friday, then play five games in the Colby Tournament this weekend. The Grizzlies will face Otero (Colo.), Trinidad (Colo.) and Western Nebraska on Saturday, then play McCook (Neb.) and Lamar (Colo.) on Sunday. In this week's poll, Western Nebraska (36-7) is ranked No. 17, while Otero (45-4) is receiving votes.
Butler's next home games will be Saturday, April 20 against Garden City with the doubleheader starting at 2 p.m. at East Park.