Story by Ashley Beall
The Drake softball team faced Bradley Sunday to finish its three-game series. It all ended in the hands of senior Jordan Gronewold who scored the winning run in the eighth inning to lead Drake to a 5-4 victory.
It was a rough outing for junior Rebekah Schmidt who started in the circle for Drake.
In the first inning, Schmidt allowed four runs off four hits, including back-to-back homers.
The Braves came out hot with Marina Groenewegen hitting a home run to left to give Bradley a 3-0 lead. Right after her, Madeline Lynch-Crumrine hit a home run as well, furthering their lead to 4-0.
Gronewold replaced Schmidt in the second after Schmidt allowed two runners on base to open the inning.
Gronewold took charge of the game and shut Bradley down and got her first win of the season, striking out three batters and only allowing seven hits and no runs.
Drake attempted to come back in the first inning with the bases loaded and no outs. However, the Braves quickly denied its attempt with a double play and a caught pop-up. The Braves were able to keep their 4-0 lead intact.
In the bottom of the second, however, Drake got on the board via Liz Buck’s first career home run. The solo shot cut the Brave lead to 4-1.
The Bulldogs came alive in the final inning, still down 4-1.
Schmidt was able to redeem herself as the designated player and hit the sixth home run of her career, bringing three runners home, tying the score at 4-4. This led to extra innings.
Freshmen Megan Sowa and Kaitlyn Finnernan stepped up for the Bulldogs. Sowa went 2-for-2 with a pair of walks and Finnernan 3-4, including her late-inning heroics.
Finnernan hit a walk-off single, which led Gronewold home to take the win from Bradley. After drawing a one-out walk, Gronewold was aggressive on base and stole second.
This game gave the Bulldogs the sixth seed going into the Missouri Valley Conference tournament this weekend in Normal, Ill.
Their first opponent is Loyola, the No. 7 seed.
The game is today at 1:35 p.m., and the winner will face No. 3 Southern Illinois tonight at 6:35 p.m.