CARBONDALE, Ill. – The No. 3 Drake softball team (29-27) opened up the 2012 State Farm Missouri Valley Softball Tournament by eliminating No. 6 Missouri State (25-26), 2-1, Thursday evening.
Sophomore Jordan Gronewold (Carlisle, Iowa) took the circle for Drake and picked up the win for the Bulldogs. In her four innings of work, she allowed three hits and one run, while recording six strikeouts. Rebekah Schmidt (Cottage Grove, Minn.) took over in the fifth inning and closed out the game for Drake. The freshman struck out four, walked three, and allowed just one hit, as she recorded her conference-leading 10th save.
Senior Torey Craddock (Tucson, Ariz.) started the offense in the bottom of the first inning, hitting her eighth home run down the left-field line to give the Bulldogs the early lead, 1-0. Craddock led Drake with a 2-for-2 performance, including the home run.
The lead would not last long as Chelsea Jones also recorded a solo home run to even the score, 1-1, in the top of the second inning.
Gronewold responded in the bottom of the frame with her own solo home run to put Drake on top, 2-1. Amy Pierce (Olathe, Kan.) also recorded a hit for Drake.The Bulldogs return to action Friday and will face No. 2 Illinois State in the MVC Tournament semifinals. First pitch is scheduled for 2:35 p.m. in Carbondale, Ill. The game will be broadcast live on Valley Live and live stats will be available on GoDrakeBulldogs.com.