PEORIA, Ill. (WFIE) -Eryn Gould recorded a pair of hits but the University of Evansville softball team was unable to get the big hit as they dropped their Missouri Valley Conference Championship opener by a 5-0 final to Valparaiso on Wednesday at Louisville Slugger Sports Complex.
Evansville (19-30) mustered up six hits and four walks, but stranded ten runners. Gould had two of UE’s six knocks while Katie McLean, Lindsay Renneisen, Jessica Fehr and Bailee Bostic had the rest. Emily Lockhart started the game for UE and went 4 1/3 innings allowing four runs, three earned, while fanning four. Izzy Vetter tossed the remainder of the game and allowed one run and also struck out four. Valpo (16-30) had 10 hits with Tyalor Herschbach going a perfect 4-4 with two RBI. Jenna Edwards threw the complete game shutout and struck out six Aces.
Valparaiso struck first with two runs in the opening frame. Brittany Anderson laced a double to right-center to score Jaina Westphal, who was hit by a pitch. A second Crusader run came home on an Evansville throwing error. With one out in the bottom of the first, Katie McLean was the first UE player to reach base via a double, but was stranded on base.
In the second, the Crusaders were back at it, loading up the bases with no outs, but Lockhart buckled down and got out of the inning unscathed. She was not as lucky in the third when Valpo pushed its third run of the game across thanks to an RBI single by Taylor Herschbach.
Evansville looked to get on the board in the bottom half of the third when Allison Daggett led off with a walk. Pinch runner Halie Fain moved to second on a wild pitch before moving to third when Eryn Gould singled. The duo was left on base as Valpo starter Jenna Edwards got out of the jam. Another run scored for Valparaiso in the fifth when Herschbach had another RBI knock.
UE threatened in both the fifth and sixth frames. In the fifth, Gould recorded her second hit of the game before Katie McLean drew a walk with two outs while Lindsay Renneisen drew a walk in the sixth before Bailee Bostic singled to center to advance her to third, but the game remained 4-0 in favor of Valpo.
Another run scored for the Crusaders in the seventh as they plated their fifth run of the night, but the Aces offense made a final rally. Toni Galas reached on an error to lead off the frame and Gould followed it with a walk to put the first two runners on, but it was the Crusaders who got out of trouble once again to finish the 5-0 win. Evansville ends its season with a 19-30 record but returns the majority of its starting line-up next season.
Courtesy: UE Athletics