Lexington Softball Regional: Illinois 2, Butler 1

Illinois right fielder Nicole Evans hit a walk-off double in the bottom of the eighth inning to push the Illini to a 2-1 victory over Butler and send them to their second elimination game of the day against Kentucky. The loss eliminated Butler from its first-ever appearance in the NCAA Tournament. 

It was a pitcher’s duel from start to finish as both starting pitchers went the distance, allowing just three runs scored total. The win went to Jade Vecvanags from Illinois, who went eight innings, allowing one unearned run with six strikeouts and seven hits allowed. Butler’s Mikeila Boroff took the loss, allowing two earned runs on eight hits with two walks. 

The Illini made quick work of extra innings, getting a leadoff single from Alyssa Gunther, who went 3-for-4 in the game, before Evans’ double concluded the game. 

Butler’s Brandyce Sailee and Kaitlin Doud each had multi-hit games with Sailee going 2-for-2 with two walks, while Doud was 2-for-3. 

Butler Head Coach Scott Hall
Opening statement ...
“What a great experience. I couldn’t be more proud of our team and these two (Brandyce and Maggie) up here. It was a great team effort all weekend. In these weather conditions and what they had to go through to play the high caliber teams that they had to play, I couldn’t ask for more from them.”

On the experience over the past couple of games …
“I’m told you never forget your first and these girls made it really first. We’ve been close a few times. We thought last weekend was fun and we didn’t have any plans of just coming down here and showing off and being satisfied. To go out and play one of the top SEC teams like we did and a very good Illinois team out of the Big Ten and really battling, what else can you say? These kids are going to fight nonstop. It’s been a great experience. ”

Butler Student-Athletes
#9 Brandyce Sallee, CF
On the experience over the past couple of games…
“I think it’s been an amazing experience. For some of us, it felt like a once in a lifetime chance. We worked our butts off and it felt really good just to get our chance here.”