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Softball Sports

Bulldogs head to South Florida after 2-2 start

Drake notched a split on Sunday in its final two games at the Iowa State Classic. The Bulldogs defeated Wisconsin-Green Bay 8-2, but they dropped a 5-3 decision to Valparaiso.

Drake’s bats came alive in the opener. Sophomore leadoff hitter Amy Pierce went 2-for-4 against Green Bay with three runs batted in. Junior Macie Silliman went 3-for-4 in the game.

Freshman Rebekah Schmidt picked up the first win in her Drake career. She tossed a complete game and struck out 10 while only surrendering three hits.

Senior Rose Magaddino added a triple and an RBI in the ball game for Drake.

Sophomore Jordan Gronewold took to the circle in game two, and she struggled against a powerful Valparaiso offense. Gronewold gave up 10 hits and five earned runs, and she walked four en route to her first loss of the season.

Valparaiso jumped out to a three-run lead in the first inning, but the Bulldogs responded. Pierce scored on a wild pitch, and junior Lindsey Vande Wall smashed a double to drive in senior Torey Craddock. The lead was cut to 3-2.

That was the closest the Bulldogs would get, however. Valparaiso extended the lead and Drake never made a real threat to tie the game.

Vande Wall’s hit notched the only RBI of the contest for Drake. She went 1-for-3 in the game, and Craddock went 1-for-2. Pierce batted 1-for-3 in the leadoff spot.

This weekend, Drake escapes the cold and heads south for the 2012 South Florida Invitational. The Bulldogs will play a total of four games on Friday and Saturday.

Drake will see some solid competition this weekend. The team takes on Wisconsin and host South Florida on Friday, and then it faces Arkansas and Georgia Southern on Saturday.

The young Bulldog pitching staff has had a solid start to the 2012 campaign. Gronewold and Schmidt have each recorded double-digit strikeout games. Both pitchers are 1-1 on the season, which leaves Drake at 2-2.

The Bulldogs’ tournament this weekend will bring competition against three of the top conference in college sports: the Big Ten (Wisconsin), the Big East (South Florida) and the Southeastern Conference (Arkansas).

Drake returns after the weekend for a brief stay at home before hitting the road for another tournament. The Bulldogs travel to Arlington, Texas, to play in the Texas-Arlington Tournament from Feb. 24-26.

Drake does not begin Missouri Valley Conference play until mid-March.


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