LOUISVILLE. (WFIE) - Alyssa Barela hit a 3-run home run in Sunday’s opening game to lead the University of Evansville softball team to a 9-1 win over Illinois to open the final day of the Red & Black Challenge. Game two saw Louisville pick up a 9-1 victory to wrap up the event.
“I loved the way our ladies competed all weekend. To go 3-2 in the last weekend before conference is huge,” UE head softball coach Mat Mundell said. “We have so many things to be excited about and the good thing is that we can get better.”
Barela’s homer set the tone for the Purple Aces in the big win over the Fighting Illini. With one out in the top of the third in a scoreless game, Kat Mueller reached on an Illinois error. Jessica Fehr and Eryn Gould followed up with singles to load the bases for Haley Woolf. The sophomore hit a sacrifice fly to left field to bring in the first run of the game.
That brought Barela to the plate and she came through with her third home run of the season, bringing in three runs. In the top of the fourth, Evansville added two more runs as a Gould triple and a Woolf double each brought home a run. UE put the finishing touches on the 9-1 6-inning win in the top of the sixth.
With one out, it was Kat Mueller reaching on a triple before scoring on an error by the Illini. Gould reached on the second Illinois error of the frame before Woolf loaded the bases up with a single. Next up was Barela, who picked up another clutch hit, posting a 2-RBI single to finalize the win.
Emily Lockhart earned her seventh win of the season, going 5 2/3 innings. She gave up one run on five hits. As a team, UE had 10 hits with Woolf, Barela and Halie Fain notching two each. Barela led all players with five RBI while Woolf brought home a pair.
UE fell to the Cardinals in their second game of the day by a 9-1 final. Louisville starter Taylor Roby gave up just two hits five innings while striking out seven Aces batters. The Cardinals jumped out to an early 5-0 lead following the first two innings.
In the top of the third, Evansville got on the board when Jessica Fehr hit a sac fly that scored Lindsay Renneisen, who doubled to lead off the inning. The Cardinals got right back on the board in the bottom half of the inning and finished the game with a 9-1 win in five frames. Erin Kleffman made the start, going 2 1/3 innings while allowing seven runs, five of which were earned.
On Tuesday, UE will take on Purdue Fort Wayne in the home opener. First pitch is slated for 1 p.m.