Butler softball sweeps Friends JV

Randy Smith
In Tuesday’s doubleheader against Friends JV, Butler freshman Madi Young went 7-for-8 with four doubles, seven runs scored and three stolen bases. Young, who leads the Grizzlies with a .588 batting average through nine games, matched a school record with five hits in Game 2.

WICHITA, Kan. – After a 17-day layoff from game action, Butler softball returned to the field Tuesday for a pair of road victories over Friends University JV at the Two Rivers Youth Softball Complex. 

Grizzly starting pitcher Izzy Erickson along with relievers Brooke McCorkle and Maddie Redman combined on a no-hitter as Butler run-ruled the Falcons 10-0 in the opening game. In Game 2, freshman shortstop Madi Young became the third Grizzly since 2013 to have a five-hit game, going 5-for-5 with four runs scored and two stolen bases in a 14-5 win. 

Butler (7-2 overall) returns to action Monday with a 2:00 p.m. road doubleheader at Labette, then will host Bethany JV on Friday, March 5 in the home season opener. The Grizzlies were scheduled to host Friends at East Park on Tuesday, but field conditions moved the doubleheader to Wichita. 

Game 1 – Butler 10, Friends JV 0 (5 innings) 

Butler recorded its third run-rule victory of the season in the opening win over Friends, who put just two runners on base against Grizzly pitching. 

Butler grabbed a 2-0 lead by scoring a run each in the first two innings, getting sacrifice fly RBIs from Shayna Espy and Gentry Shepherd. Espy drove in Madi Young, who led off the game with a double and stole third. In the second, Brooke McCorkle delivered a one-out double to center, moved to third on a Halle Hale single and scored when Shepherd flew out to left. 

The Grizzlies broke the game open in the top of the third inning with a six-run frame. Young opened the inning with another double, then scored when Espy reached first on an infield error. Two batters later, Espy crossed the plate on an Ari Cordova triple to right for a 4-0 lead. 

With two outs, McCorkle hit an RBI single to drive in Cordova. Butler would end up loading the bases for Izzy Erickson, who followed with a two-run single to center which scored both McCorkle and Hale. The Grizzlies ended the scoring with a bases-loaded walk to Espy to score Shepherd from third. 

Butler added two more runs in the fifth on consecutive defensive errors by Friends. Pinch hitter Anna Icenhower singled to center with one out, then moved to third on a dropped fly ball hit by Young with two outs. Both runners scored when Espy reached first base on an error by Falcons second baseman Lacee Travens. 

Erickson (4-1) was dominant in the circle with six strikeouts and one walk over three no-hit innings. On just 44 pitches with 31 of them for strikes, Erickson opened the contest with three straight swinging strikeouts. The freshman retired the first eight batters before allowing a walk, then recorded her sixth strikeout to end the third. 

McCorkle entered in the fourth and recorded two groundouts, a flyout and a two-out walk. Maddie Redman closed the game with three straight swinging strikeouts, bringing the overall strikeout total to nine for the game. 

Young led the Butler offense with three runs scored while going 2-for-3. McCorkle was the only other Grizzly with multiple hits as she hit 2-for-3 with a pair of runs scored. 

Game 2 – Butler 14, Friends JV 5

Butler rallied from an early 4-1 deficit after two innings, scoring the lone run off an error. Madi Young led off the game with a double just inside the left-field line, advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored when Shayna Espy hit a grounder through the legs of Falcons second baseman Lacee Travens. 

Friends would score two runs in both the first two innings off starter Kelcie Kippes, including a two-run single by Bobbie Flores in the second. 

Once Butler recaptured the lead with a five-run third inning, the Grizzlies’ offense found consistency by scoring at least one run in the final five innings. 

Young jumpstarted the five-run third for Butler with a leadoff double and stole third. Young held steady at third when Shayna Espy followed by reaching first on a fielder’s choice with a bunt up the third-base line. Espy advanced to second on the play as Friends starting pitcher Isabelle Schwien fielded the bunt and keyed on Young. 

Young came home for the first run of the frame when Emily Adler hit a ball through the legs of shortstop Vanessa Sigala. With two runners in scoring position, Espy scored from third on an RBI groundout by Ari Cordova. After Brooke McCorkle was plunked with a pitch to put runners at first and second, Hannah Knox put the Grizzlies in front 5-4 with a two-run double to right-center, scoring Adler and pinch runner Emma Barta. The final run of the inning came on a Halle Hale sacrifice fly. 

Butler extended its lead to 9-4 in the fourth as Espy hit a two-run double to right-center to score Young and Tadum Soetaert, then came home on a wild pitch. The Grizzlies added a run in both the fifth and sixth innings, getting a Young RBI single to score Sydney Adler and a Cordova RBI double to plate Alex Olson. 

Leading 11-5 after six innings, Butler added three more runs in the seventh. McKenna Jones and Emily Adler each hit a sacrifice fly to drive in a run. Young, who singled to center for her fifth hit, moved to second on a walk and moved to third on Adler’s sacrifice fly. With Cordova batting, Young stole home after Friends catcher Mahalie Owens had a slow throwback to pitcher Jennifer Dunagan on a pitched ball. 

Kippes went three innings, allowing four runs – three earned – on five hits, walked two and struck out three. Redman (1-0) picked up the win with three no-hit innings and fanned four. Redman retired the first six batters she faced, but two runners reached via error in the sixth which led to an unearned run. Hannah Knox pitched the final inning, giving up one hit and striking out one. 

With her five-hit performance, Young matched teammate Anna Icenhower and former Grizzly Becca Schulte to reach the five-hit plateau in a game. Young also matched a career-high best with four runs scored, originally reaching the mark last year at Dodge City in Butler’s final game of the shortened 2020 season due to COVID-19. 

NOTES: The combined no-hitter in Game 1 was Butler’s first since Celina Sullivan tossed a complete-game no-hitter against Seward County on April 20, 2018… With a team-high .588 average, Young has a hit in each of the Grizzlies’ nine games this season. Young, who has at least two hits in eight of the nine contests, also leads Butler with 17 runs scored and nine doubles… Butler improved to 20-2 against Friends JV under Grizzly head coach Doug Chance. The Grizzlies have won nine straight against the Falcons.