Butler County Times Gazette
  • Butler stays atop NJCAA softball poll for second week

  • For the second consecutive week, the Butler softball team is ranked first in the NJCAA Division I Women's Softball poll.
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  • For the second consecutive week, the Butler softball team is ranked first in the NJCAA Division I Women's Softball poll.
    The Grizzlies (39-2 overall, 10-0 conference) received all four first-place votes in the poll. Butler is currently on its longest winning streak of the season at 16 games.
    The Grizzlies started the season with 15 straight wins before dropping their first game of the season, then won eight in a row until losing to Northeastern Oklahoma A&M on March 16.
    The Butler offense continues to be one of the top teams in the nation statistically, ranking in the top 10 in batting average (.405, 2nd), runs scored (372, 9th), runs batted in (344, 7th) slugging percentage (.625, 2nd), home runs (70, 2nd), on-base percentage (.465, T-3rd) and doubles (91, 9th).
    The Grizzlies have won 21 games by run-rule this season, including 13 of their last 15 contests.
    The Butler pitching staff has a 1.76 earned-run average (ranked 16th) and have limited opponents to a .187 batting average, which ranks second in the nation.
    Butler will host Garden City for a pair of conference games this Saturday beginning at 2 p.m. and have three more home dates scheduled next week:
    - Wednesday, April 24 vs. Barton
    - Thursday, April 25 vs. Seminole State (OK)
    - Friday, April 26 vs Seward County
     
    Butler's Kate James named NJCAA Softball Player of the Week
    COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Kate James has been named the OC Sports NJCAA Division I softball player of the week for games April 8-14.
    James is a freshman catcher from Maize High School.
    Her power at the plate propelled the No. 1 Grizzlies to seven wins last week, extending their winning streak to 16 games.
    Batting for a .579 average (11-for-19), James totaled 17 RBIs and scored 15 runs on the week.
    The sophomore compiled a 1.632 slugging percentage that included two doubles and six home runs.
    James leads with 18 home runs, breaking the school record of 17 hit by Robyn Sadowski in 2006.
    Just a freshman, she is already tied with Simone Patterson for fifth on the all-time Butler list for career home runs.
    James also has a 1.034 slugging percentage. She ranks fifth in the nation in both home runs and slugging percentage.
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