The Butler Grizzlies are the Region VI champions for the third straight year and the fifth time in the past seven seasons after defeating Seward County by a 1-0 score on Sunday evening at Wilkins Stadium.
The win capped a perfect 3-0 weekend. Butler opened the tournament win an 8-0 win over Colby on Saturday night, then defeated Seward 6-1 in the semifinals on Sunday morning, setting the stage for the narrow win in the championship.
The only run in the title game came in the top of the seventh. Ashley Malone led off with a double to the right-center field gap. Caitlin Coody pinch ran and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Ashton Atwell. After a walk by Erin Boston put runners at the corners with one out, Alex Millspaugh lifted a fly ball to center that was deep enough for Coody to tag and score from third.
Butler had two pitchers combine for the two-hit shutout. Mac Millspaugh, a Creighton signee, threw the first six innings. She had five strikeouts and allowed just two hits. She improves to 16-0 on the season. Maggie Ham came on in relief in the seventh inning, striking out two batters and shutting the door to earn her third save of the season.
Butler had just four hits in the game, two of them by Dominica O'Nelio. Sydney Stuever and Ashley Malone had the other hits.
Butler is now 48-2 on the season, the best winning percentage for a season in school history. The Grizzlies have won their past 25 games. Butler's 48 wins, which is just one behind the school record of 49 wins set by the 2007 and 2008 teams.
With the win, Butler advances to the District E championship, which is a best-of-three series that will be played at the Region IV champion (either Western Nebraska or Otero, Colo.) starting with a doubleheader on Thursday.