St. George, Ut – The Butler Grizzlies are the NJCAA Dl National Champions of softball. Butler scored twice in the first and three times each in the second, fifth, and sixth innings en route to an 11-7 win over the Salt Lake Bruins.
The win made it back-to-back titles for Butler and Head Coach Doug Chance.
“This was such a relief after the expectations that was on us all year,” said Chance. “Last year was a big celebration, but it is such a relief to make this one a reality.”
Salt Lake, a perennial power at the Tourney, didn’t go quietly. The Bruins answered Butler’s two-run first with three of their own in the inning. But, as they have done all season said Coach Chance, “the kids responded.”
Butler answered Salt Lake’s scoring with a three-run spot the very next inning. Brynn Minor’s three-run blast put the Grizzlies back up 5-3; a lead they would never relinquish.
The Grizzlies offset a three-run fifth by Salt Lake with two three-run innings of their own in the fifth and sixth innings. Ashley Snyder’s three-run homer the difference in the fifth.
Minor’s second homerun of the game in the sixth put a final exclamation point on the game and the Title.
Becca Schulte, the Tourney MVP, summed up the Championship.
“I’m just so glad I got to share something so special with so many great friends.”
The All-Tournament Team included:
Regan Mergle, P, Butler
Chantelle Ladner, P, Salt Lake
Allison Jurgenson, C, Butler
Laina Suesue, C, Salt Lake
Brynn Minor, UT, Butler
Alex Valencia, DP, Salt Lake
Mariah Young, OF, Howard
Lauren Tycksen, OF, Salt Lake
Paige Pacher, OF, Butler
Marta Fuentes, 2B, Florida Southwestern
McKenzie Vaughn, 3B, Florida Southwestern
Tiare Lee, SS, Howard
Kendra Gegenbacher, SS, Lake Land
MVP: Becca Shulte, SS, Butler
Outstanding Offensive Player: Becca Schulte, SS, Butler
Outstanding Defensive Player: Jackie Mercado, 3B, Howard
Outstanding Pitcher: Regan Mergle
Butler 11, Salt Lake 7 (May 20, 2017 at St. George, Utah)
Butler………….. 230 033 0 – 11 16 2 (1-0)
Salt Lake……….. 301 030 0 – 7 6 1 (0-1)
Pitchers: Butler – Mergele, Reg; Minor, Brynn(5) and Jurgensen, A. Salt Lake – Ladner, Chan;
Jensen, Addi(2); Taylor, Bryc(6) and Suesue, Lain.
Win-Mergele, Reg Save-Minor, Brynn Loss-Jensen, Addi T-2:30
HR BUTLER – Minor, Brynn 3; Reed, Alexis.
HR SALTLAKE – Snyder, Ashl.
Weather: 75 degrees, sunny
-Courtesy Todd Fairbourne-