Butler Upsets Indy in Conference Playoff Matchup 9-5

Demya Brown under the lights ready to hit a bomb over left center field fence.
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MINT HILL, NC – The Butler Lady Bulldogs upset Independence 9-5 this week in a second round game in the conference playoffs. This win comes after dropping two regular season games to the Patriots during the previous week 14-4 and 13-7.

Indy’s Sarah Johnson makes contact for a base hit.

Indy the Co-Champions with Providence both finishing at 11-1, ended up the second seed after Providence won the coin toss, forcing the Lady Patriots to play a second straight game at Butler’s home field where this year’s tournament is being played.

Indy player slides ahead of throw for a run.

The Patriots who have been a very good hitting team all season, just did not seem to have their usual competitive edge and swagger entering into this ballgame. It’s always difficult to defeat a good team, and especially an arch rival 3 games straight with two games on their home turf. The Bulldogs were 8-4 in the conference finishing in 3rd place.

Butler scored 7 runs in the first three innings, on multiple base hits, including some miscues as Indy committed 5 errors in the ballgame. Indy only countered with 3 runs of their own in the opening frames. The conference Co-Champions just could not seem to get going or obtain a key hit when needed, while the Bulldogs took advantage of every opportunity to earn the win.

Meanwhile, the Bulldogs had clutch hitting, played well defensively, ran the bases aggressively, and appeared to be determined to pull off the upset and take down their rival. Also, the Bulldog hurler Ashlee Stringer had her good stuff working for her on the mound, with excellent ball movement and an effective high rising fastball. She totaled 12 strikeouts to hold the powerful bats and lineup of Indy in check. She also allowed 7 base-on-balls, and spread out 7 hits, but Indy could not take advantage of their own opportunities.

Butler’s standout senior Demya Brown led the charge on offense and MaKenna Thomas had 12 putouts in the ballgame defensively to assist the Lady Bulldogs when they required an important play on the field. Brown went 4-4 with 3 RBIs, and a home run for the home team. Also, Sydney Reynolds made a major contribution going 3-4, 1 RBI, Ellie Bowmen 1-3, 2 RBIs, MaKenna Thomas, 1-4, 1 RBI.

The Lady Bulldogs banged out 12 hits against Indy pitcher Morgan Clark, while Stinger limited the Patriots to just 7 hits, and getting key strikeouts in clutch situations. Natalie Johnson went 2-3 with a home run, Terris Adkins 2-3, 2 RBIs, Elizabeth Garbark 3-4, 1 RBI for the visiting Patriots.

Butler moved on to the championship game against Providence. They lost 10-0 on a complete shutout, no hit performance perfect game tossed by Panther pitcher Ava McCauley for six strong innings including 6 strikeouts. The Bulldogs overall are 14-9, 8-4 in the conference, and Indy is now 18-6, overall, and 11-1 in the conference. Providence the Southwestern 4A Champion posted a 17-7 record, and were 11-1 this season in conference competition.

Next is the the state NC West 4A playoffs, Providence is automatic as conference champion. We now must wait to see if Indy and Butler will qualify this coming week.

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Ed Berti
Ed is retired and remains active as a freelance writer, local journalist and independent contractor. He is engaged in print and electronic media writing stories covering business, sports, hometown news and veteran's affairs including articles of interest to various media outlets. Ed is a graduate of Wagner College where he earned an MBA and holds a BBA from Pace University.
Ed can be reached at ed@minthilltimes.com, eberti7777@gmail.com and linkedin.com.