The Drake softball team had a successful Sunday, sweeping Minnesota State in a doubleheader. The Bulldogs won the first, 7-0, and the second, 1-0, in 10 innings.
Senior pitcher Brynne Dordel had a terrific outing in the first game, throwing six scoreless innings before senior Jenna DeLong finished the game with a perfect seventh inning. Dordel struck out five Mavericks while allowing one hit to get the win.
In game one, Drake’s first run came in the fifth inning when freshman utility player Amy Pierce drew a bases-loaded walk to score sophomore Lindsey Vande Wall. Junior second baseman Torey Craddock then hit a double to clear the bases to give the Bulldogs the 4-0 lead. Sophomore shortstop Macie Silliman added three runs in the sixth on a bases-loaded triple.
Freshman Jordan Gronewold started on the mound in game two, and threw six innings, allowing no runs while logging five strike outs.
DeLong came on in relief again, but had to work herself out of a bases-loaded, one-out fix in the ninth. She struck out the last two batters to retire the side and bring the Bulldogs’ into the 10th.
Gronewold, Pierce, Liz Buck and Nicole Randel, the new freshmen on the team, are fitting in well and making the difference the Bulldogs need.
In the 10th inning of game two, Silliman walked and moved around the bases to score on Pierce’s single up the right field line to give Drake the 1-0 victory.
“The freshmen seem to be adjusting really well both to the pitching and the speed of the game,” Silliman commented. “This fall season is allowing them to see what it’s like in the spring. Jordan threw a good second game, Amy came up with a big hit and the others contributed great, both offensively and defensively.
“As a team we were hitting the ball hard,” Silliman continued. “We got on base when we needed to and pushed the runs across. We left a lot of runners on base, but by the time spring rolls around, we will be good to go.”
The Bulldogs move their fall record to 3-1 and are pleased with their results so far.
“We can improve on scoring runs. We need to get people on base and execute clutch hits,” Redshirt sophomore outfielder Sam West said. “I was very pleased with the first game but we needed to jump on them early in the second game and score some runs right away.”
“These games are a good check-in to see where we’re at as a team and individually,” Silliman added. “I am excited to see what this year’s team is going to do. We have a solid group of upperclassmen along with experienced freshmen that will allow us to have a successful spring season.”
The Bulldogs are back in action next Sunday against Iowa Lakes Community College and Indian Hills Community College in the Paul Morrison Invitational. The first pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m. at Buel Field.
Photo: Connor McCourtney