- Kelly Hysong had four hits and hit her team-leading third home run of the season in the game against Butler
- After falling behind 9-0, Cleveland State rallied to bring the tying run to the plate against Butler
- Hanna Griffin had two hits and drove in a run versus Butler
- Mackenzie Tucker had a hit, scored twice and drove in two runs versus Butler
- Alicia Major worked 4.0 scoreless innings against Butler
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. -- Kelly Hysong homered and had four hits and Mackenzie Tucker drove in two runs, but Cleveland State dropped the final two games of the Hilltopper Classic on Monday at the Western Kentucky Softball Complex. The Vikings fell to Butler 9-6 and then concluded tournament play with an 8-0 loss to Western Kentucky.
The Vikings, who dropped to 1-7 on the season, put together a stirring comeback against Butler in the opening game of the day.
Butler erupted for nine runs in the first two innings, cut Cleveland State began its comeback in the bottom of the fourth inning.
With one out, Bailee Gray reached on an error but was erased at second base on a fielder's choice. With two outs and Tucker on second base, Hysong blasted her third home run of the season getting CSU on the scoreboard and cutting the lead to 9-2.
Hanna Griffin began the CSU sixth with an infield single, but pinch-runner Abby Tolstyka was out at second on a fielder's choice grounder by Tucker. Hysong singled up the middle advancing Tucker to second base and Aly Packish delivered an RBI single to centerfield to bring the Vikings to within 9-3.
Down by six runs entering the seventh inning, Cleveland State would bring the tying run to the plate before falling just short.
Griffin roped a single to left that scored Ries to trim the margin to 9-4 and one batter later Tucker delivered a two-run single that plated both Rose and Major and brought the Vikings to within 9-6. Butler was able to escape any further damage by inducing a double-play ball to end the threat.
Major worked the final 4.0 innings and allowed just three hits and no runs while striking out two batters.
Hysong finished with four hits to lead CSU, while Griffin had two hits and an RBI. Tucker had a hit and a pair of RBIs and Packish, Sydney Bajusz, Rose and Sarah Boccieri also had hits for the Vikings.
In the Vikings second game of the day against Western Kentucky, the Hilltoppers rode the pitching of Shelby Nunn to the win. She worked 6.0 innings and allowed just one hit and struck out four batters.
Ries picked up the Vikings lone hit in the second game, while Major worked 2.1 innings and allowed just one earned run.
Cleveland State will return to action on March 1-3 at the Liberty Spring Classic. The Vikings are scheduled to face Sacred Heart, Quinnipiac, Liberty, Robert Morris and Rutgers in the three-day tournament.