EVANSVILLE, IN (WFIE) - In a pair of close games, the University of Evansville softball team fell in both ends of Saturday’s doubleheader against Bradley at Cooper Stadium. The Braves (22-15, 9-5 MVC) took the opener by a 3-1 score before topping the Purple Aces (13-25, 3-12 MVC) by a 4-2 tally in game two.
In game one, Toni Galas helped the Aces take a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second. She forced a walk on a stellar at-bat that saw her battle through nine pitches. She stole second before coming home on a BU error. Bradley wasted no time in taking their first lead of the day, plating two runs in the third on a 2-run double by Taise Thompson.
Emily Lockhart made the start for UE and did nice job of keeping her team in the game. The Braves put runners on the corners with one out in the fourth, but she was able to keep them off the board. BU added another runner in the fifth before she forced an inning-ending double play.
While the Aces had several base-runners in the game, Eryn Gould got UE’s first hit in the fifth with a 2-out double, but was stranded by BU starter Grace French. The Braves pushed an insurance run across in the sixth on a sacrifice fly and the score would finish at 3-1. UE was limited to one hit, which came from Gould. The Aces left eight runners on base. Lockhart pitched extremely well, going the full seven innings and giving up three runs, two earned, on six hits.
Bradley registered the first threat of game two, putting two runners on to lead off the second inning. Aces starter Izzy Vetter got out of the jam, but the Braves struck first an inning later when Lucy Mead laced a home run to right field to make it a 1-0 game. A second run would score in the frame thanks to an Allison Apke double.
Jessica Fehr and Mackenzie McFeron led the bottom of the third off with back-to-back hits before Mea Adams drew a walk to load the bases with no outs. That brought Eryn Gould to the plate, who turned a 0-2 count into a 2-RBI single that tied the game.
Mead struck again with an RBI double in the top half of the fourth that put Bradley back in front by a 3-2 tally. They added another in the fifth. Evansville rallied in the bottom of the seventh when Mea Adams and Gould hit singles to move to second and third with two outs, but BU starter Julie Kestas got the final out to record the win.
Vetter went the distance for UE, allowing four runs, three of which were earned. UE had seven hits on the day with Adams and Gould registering two apiece.
Tomorrow, the teams are set to wrap up the series with an 11 a.m. game at Cooper Stadium.