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Softball Splits Doubleheader With Loyola

Courtesy: Drake Athletics
Release: March 30, 2014
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CHICAGO The Drake University softball team split its doubleheader versus Loyola on Sunday. Drake rallied for a 6-4 victory in the first game before falling to Loyola, 13-3, in the series finale.

In game one, Loyola (12-16, 3-3 MVC) tallied an opening inning run as Lauren Moore collected an RBI double.

Drake (7-22, 1-5 MVC) quickly answered in the top of the second inning with a run of its own. Senior Cortney Wood (Alburnett, Iowa) started the frame with a single and came around to score on freshman Kaitlyn Finneran’s (Morrison, Ill.) two-out, two-bagger to even the game at 1-1.

The Bulldogs grabbed the lead in the third inning as freshman Megan Sowa (Gurnee, Ill.) and junior Laura Brewer (Waukee, Iowa) each had RBI singles to make the score 3-1.

The Ramblers took the lead after plating one run in the bottom of the third and two runs in the the fourth inning.

Senior Amy Pierce (Olathe, Kan.) launched a three-run home run in the sixth inning as Drake roared back to take the lead for good. Pierce, who has a team-leading four home runs this season, drove in Finneran and junior Sarah Ryan (Mount Vernon, Iowa) on the blast that cleared the left field wall.

Schmidt retired the Ramblers in order in their final two at-bats as the Bulldogs secured their first MVC win of the year. Schmidt pitched 4.2 innings and allowed two runs on four hits along with three strikeouts as she earned the win to improve her record to 6-10.

Sophomore Mariah McKinnon (Oxford, Iowa) started in the circle and went 2.1 innings and allowed two runs (one earned) on four hits before being replaced by Schmidt in the third inning.

Pierce was Drake’s spark plug at the top of the lineup as she finished 2-for-3 with a home run, two runs scored and three RBI along with a walk and four stolen bases.

Pierce opened the second game with a single and after swiping back-to-back stolen bases, Sowa plated Pierce with a single to left field to give the Bulldogs an early 1-0 advantage.

The lead didn’t last long as Brie Pasquale ripped a solo home run for the Ramblers in the bottom of the inning. They added to their lead with two runs in the second inning taking advantage of two walks, an error and a wild pitch, all with two outs.

Loyola took control of the contest the next inning, scoring nine runs behind seven hits, including a grand slam by Olivia Bell off of Schmidt. The Ramblers added one more run in the fourth inning to go up 13-1. Drake scored twice in the fifth inning as Liz Buck (Overland Park, Kan.) and Hayley Nybo (Minnetonka, Minn.) each recorded RBI fielder’s choices.

However, Loyola closed out the inning and ended the game early as it secured the series victory. The Ramblers edged the Bulldogs, 4-3, in the series opener Saturday.

Pierce finished the finale with a hit, two walks and three stolen bases as she now has a team-leading 14. Sowa chipped in one hit and one RBI. She raised her team-leading batting average to .360.

Drake will look to bounce back when it travels to in-state rival Iowa for a midweek game on Wednesday, April 2. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m. against the Hawkeyes.

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