Top-ranked Butler Community College opened the NJCAA Division I Softball Tournament with a 13-1 run-rule win over Pitt (N.C.) in five innings on Wednesday at St. George, Utah. The Grizzlies, who have lost in the first round of nationals the last two seasons, will play Wallace (Ala.) State on Thursday at 5 p.m.
“(Pitt) really got the barrel on the ball, made us make a lot of plays,” Butler coach Doug Chance said. “They shortened up (at bat) on us and we had to adjust.”
Jayhawk West pitcher of the year Maggie Ham picked up the win for Butler, pitching three innings. Northwest product Mac Millspaugh came on in relief and pitched the final two innings. Ham will get the start against Wallace.
Kaitlyn Wolken went 2 for 4 with 4 RBIs for Butler. Kate James was 2 for 2 with 2 RBIs and Sydney Stuever was 2 for 3. It was the first opening-round win for the Grizzlies since 2008.
At the NJCAA Division II Tournament in Clinton, Miss., Cowley defeated Cuyahoga (Ohio) 13-3 in the opening round. Cowley faces Jones County on Thursday at 3:30 p.m.