Photo: Connor McCourtney
The Drake softball team continued its trend of recent success on Wednesday against nonconference foe Iowa. Freshman Amy Pierce provided the Bulldogs with some late inning heroics, driving in a run in the seventh for a walk-off single to beat the Hawkeyes 2-1. Last Saturday, the Bulldogs were handed its first MVC loss at the hands of Wichita State, but managed one victory in the doubleheader.
With two outs and nobody on base, the Bulldogs (23-13, 9-1 MVC) managed to load the bases. Sophomore Sam West reached on an infield single, sophomore Lindsey Vande Wall reached on an error, and senior Jenna DeLong walked to set up Pierce’s heroics. She was able to drive in West for the game-winning RBI.
Senior Brynne Dordel was in the circle and tossed a complete game for the Bulldogs, surrendering just two hits. The walk-off hit by Pierce gave Dordel her 10th win of the season and No. 651 in her career. She needs two more victories to move into third on Drake’s all-time wins list.
Dordel struck out seven batters, while Vande Wall led Drake with two hits.
Next up for the Bulldogs was a trip Wichita State, who was the first to put a blemish on Drake’s perfect 8-0 MVC record.
The Bulldogs won the first game 8-3, but lost 9-6 in game two, thanks to an extra inning walk-off homer.
Dordel struggled in this affair, but appeared to have the win locked up needing one more out in the seventh to seal the victory. The Shockers rallied for four runs to send the game to extra innings, where a three-run jack dealt Dordel her first loss since March 15.
“We felt good after the first win, and we felt good going into the seventh inning of the second game being up by four runs, but unfortunately we just couldn’t finish the game,” Pierce said.
Pierce stayed hot at the plate, going 6-for-9 with a home run on the day. She has a 10-game hitting streak and now leads Drake with a .370 batting average. She has no doubt the Bulldogs will bounce back from the loss to keep trucking through the Valley.
“We just have to take it one game at a time and move on to get the next one,” she said.
DeLong picked up the win in the opener, her 12th of the season. She struck out five to move within 10 of becoming Drake’s all-time strikeouts leader.
Drake had 23 hits and four home runs on the day. Senior Erin Mollohan and junior Torey Craddock blasted their seventh round-trippers of the season.
The Bulldogs wrapped up a three-game set against Wichita State yesterday. The Times-Delphic will have details from that game in Thursday’s issue. Drake hosts Iowa State at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, then heads north to Ames to take on the Cyclones on Thursday.
Missouri Valley Conference Standings
Illinois State 9-1 23-11 overall
Drake 9-1 23-13 overall
Southern Illinois 6-2 22-12 overall
Creighton 5-3 15-17 overall
Northern Iowa 6-5 22-17 overall
Missouri State 5-5 15-16 overall
Indiana State 3-7 12-18 overall
Wichita State 3-7 10-27 overall
Evansville 2-9 8-28 overall
Bradley 1-9 8-30 overall