ROSEMONT, IL. (WFIE) - In the second day of the season-opening Total Control Sports Invitational, the University of Evansville softball team split its two contests, defeating Western Illinois before falling just short against IUPUI at The Dome.
“Last night we challenged the team to be better tomorrow than we were today. The ladies met that challenge,” UE head softball coach Mat Mundell said. “We continue to get great pitching and defense. Those are two keys to good teams. I love how we are battling on every pitch. Excited to play one more tomorrow.”
Evansville got the day started with its second win of the weekend, defeating Western Illinois by a 4-1 final in a morning contest. Following a scoreless opening frame, the Purple Aces erupted for three runs in the bottom of the second. With one out, Jessica Fehr reached on an infield single before scoring the first run of the game on a Hannah Hood triple. Katie McLean stepped to the plate and delivered the third hit in a row and second consecutive triple to plate Hood.
Kat Mueller reached on a walk before stealing second. On that play, McLean came home on the throw to push the lead to 3-0. The Leathernecks scored a run in the top half of the third before Evansville got it right back in the fourth when Alyssa Barela hit a 1-out home run to left field. That is where the scoring would end as the Aces clinched the 4-1 win thanks to stellar pitching from Emily Lockhart. She threw a complete game 3-hitter allowing just three hits and one walk. UE recorded eight hits with Fehr, Hood and McLean posting two apiece. Lindsay Renneisen added two walks.
Game two of the day pitted the Aces against IUPUI where the first three innings saw dominant pitching keep the game scoreless. That changed in the top of the fourth when the Aces pushed the first run across the plate thanks to a big 2-out hit from Jessica Fehr. Renneisen got the inning started with a single before advancing to second on a strikeout. With two outs, Fehr singled down the right field line to send Renneisen home.
The lead did not hold for long as the Jaguars scored twice in the fourth and once in the sixth to go up 3-1. Down to their final three outs, the Aces did their best to tie it up. With two outs, it was Renneisen reaching on a double to left. Haley Woolf followed up with a single that scored Renneisen to cut the deficit to a run, but IUPUI recorded the final out to clinch the 3-2 victory.
Izzy Vetter was in the circle for the contest and pitched all six innings. She gave up three runs on six hits and struck out seven batters. UE had eight hits in the game with Fehr going 3-for-3.
Tomorrow morning, the tournament wraps up with a 10 a.m. game against Green Bay.