DES MOINES, IA. (WFIE) - Trailing by a 5-2 margin entering the 7th inning, the University of Evansville softball team staged a furious rally, but came up just short with Drake taking a 5-4 victory on Sunday afternoon at Ron Buel Field.
Leading the Purple Aces (18-16, 6-9 MVC) was the trio of Eryn Gould, Katie McLean and Alyssa Barela, who posted two hits apiece. Gould reached base three times with two hits and a walk. Haley Woolf recorded her second home run of the season in the contest. Izzy Vetter gave up two runs on two hits in three frames while Erin Kleffman tossed the final three innings. Emily Valtman was the top performer for the Bulldogs (11-25, 5-10 MVC), going 2-3 with four RBI. Nicole Timmons picked up the win in the circle, allowing four runs on four hits in her six innings.
Evansville took its first lead of the weekend in the second inning when Haley Woolf homered to right field. It was her second long ball of the season. The lead held strong until the bottom of the third when Valtman hit a 2-run shot. Jenna Lis tied the score in the top half of the fourth, hitting an RBI single to score Halie Fain. Fain pinch ran for Alyssa Barela, who began the inning with a double.
The momentum for UE did not last too long as the Bulldogs put a 3-spot on the board in the bottom of the fourth. Valtman had the big hit again, posting a 2-RBI single that put Drake in front by a 5-2 score. The margin remained that way until the top of the seven when the Aces made a final effort to pick up the win. Walks by Elyse Hickey and Gould, coupled with a Jessica Fehr single, loaded the bases with no outs. A fielder’s choice by Barela scored the third run of the game. Marah Wood added an RBI double to get her team within one, but a pitching change for Drake resulted in a pair of strikeouts that ended the game with a 5-4 DU win.
UE returns to Cooper Stadium on Wednesday for a 4 p.m. doubleheader against Indiana State.