DES MOINES, Iowa – The Drake softball team (28-27, 17-10 MVC) clinched the third seed in the MVC tournament with a victory over Wichita State (15-40, 7-20 MVC), 7-2, in Sunday’s home finale at Ron Buel Field.
Sophomore Jordan Gronewold (Carlisle, Iowa) earned the win for Drake, starting the Bulldogs. She struck out six, walked one, while allowing three hits and two runs before being relieved by Rebekah Schmidt (Cottage Grove, Minn.) after four innings. Schmidt got the save for Drake, pitching three innings and recording three strikeouts. She leads the Valley in saves and is in the top five nationally, heading into this weekend.
Nicole Randel (Alpine, Calif.) hit her second home run this season to give Drake the lead, 2-0, in the second inning. Hayley Nybo (Minnetonka, Minn.) blasted her team-leading ninth home run in the bottom of the third inning to widen Drake’s lead, 5-0.
Wichita State kept its postseason hopes alive in the fourth inning when the Shockers put together two runs to trim Drake’s lead, 5-2. Hayley Temple put Wichita State’s first run on the board, hitting a double to center field, scoring Sydney Stuever. Temple would score on Erin Carney’s single to right field.
In the fifth inning, Randel continued her strong offensive performance, doubling off of the left field fence, plating Craddock and Schmidt.
Randel finished the game 2-for-3, with a home run, a double and four runs batted in. Nybo went 3-for-3, with a home run and three runs batted in.
Drake will travel this week to participate in the MVC tournament, hosted by Southern Illinois in Carbondale, Ill. The Bulldogs will play Thursday evening at 6:30 p.m. against the winner of Missouri State (24-25, 12-14 MVC) and Bradley (21-29, 11-15 MVC).