The Seton Hall Pirates opened up their three-game series against the Butler Bulldogs with a doubleheader at home on Saturday. The Pirates lost game one 9-3 but turned it around to win the second game 10-3.
Butler struck first with a two-out double by the starting pitcher Kaitlin Doud to put the Bulldogs up 1-0 at the top of the second inning.
The Pirates answered back in home half of the inning with a two-run home run by Chrisa Head to put the Pirates ahead 2-1. The lead did not last long however, as another two-run home run in the visitor’s half of the third gave the Bulldogs the lead for good.
A Lauren Fischer solo homerun in the bottom of the seventh accounted for the only other Pirates’ run as Seton Hall dropped the first game 9-3.
In game two, Butler again got off to a quick start with one run in the first and another in the third off of Pirates’ starting pitcher Madison Strunk to give the Bulldogs a two run lead through three innings. Strunk eventually got on to earn the win after pitching five innings and striking out three.
Down 2-0, the Hall exploded for seven runs in the fourth. The scoring outburst was highlighted by back to back solo home runs from Noel Lent and Hailey Arteaga to start the inning and a grand slam from Alexis Walkden to help blow the game open and give the Pirates a commanding 7-2 lead. Until Lent’s home run got the Pirates started, the offense for Seton Hall was relatively quiet through the first 10 innings of the day
“I was just trying to hit it hard,” Lent said. “You don’t go up there to hit a home run so I was just trying to see a good pitch and get us ahead.”
After Butler managed to get a run across in the top of the fifth, Seton Hall came back with three runs to put the game out of reach and give the Pirates a 10-3 win.
Looking forward, coach Paige Smith knows the Pirates have a tough task ahead of them.
“We have to win every game,” Smith said. “All year it’s been a tale of two teams and I really like the team that showed up for game two.”
The rubber match of the series takes place tomorrow against Butler with first pitch scheduled for noon.
Nick Santoriello can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @NickSantoriello.