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Drake turns attention to Bayer Crop Classic

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Photo: Connor McCourtney

After completing the Tulsa Invitational with a 2-2 record, the Drake softball team is hitting the road yet again for the Bayer Crop Classic in Fresno, Calif. The Bulldogs open against Troy and Idaho State tomorrow, then play Idaho State again and tournament host Fresno State on Saturday. Drake finishes the tournament on Sunday versus California.

After getting off to a great 5-0 start on the season, the team stumbled a bit in late February, and now Drake’s record stands at an 8-7. The team is hoping to get back on track with a great showing in Fresno.

“We just need to take motivation into our next games and play our best game, every game,” freshman Jordan Gronewold said.

Troy stands at 13-6 overall, Idaho State stands at 4-9, Fresno State is at 8-4 and California is at 12-2.

A major bright spot for the Bulldogs this season has been their pitching, led by seniors Jenna DeLong, Brynne Dordel and newcomer Gronewold. DeLong stands at 5-3 on the mound and has already been named Missouri Valley Conference Pitcher of the Week twice.

Gronewold pitched a solid game last week at the Tulsa Invitational against North Dakota, earning a no-decision. She tossed her first win of her career later in the weekend against Ohio State.

“It felt great being out there on the mound for my first career start,” Gronewold said after the North Dakota game.

To do well in Fresno, the team needs to get back to the team it truly is and let things happen for them.

“We are a loose, goofy team,” junior Torey Craddock said. “I think we need to remember how to have fun out there and have that motivation in our upcoming games.”

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