Story by Ashley Beall
Drake softball showed up with a strong offensive effort against Indiana State this past Sunday, winning 13-1. After playing the Sycamores twice on Saturday, the Bulldogs won the third game on Sunday to go two-for-three on the weekend.
“We came out ready to play and we adjusted to the pitcher very well,” said freshman infielder Chelsea Blaylock. “We were more patient with the pitching and more picky and waited for the pitches we wanted.”
The Bulldogs had a hot start to the game, and by the bottom of the first inning, they already had a 4-0 lead. Sophomore infielder Hayley Nybo scored the first run, followed by a double hit by junior outfielder Nicole Randel to score another run.
Drake almost had a grand slam in the second inning by Randel, which brought in two runs off a double. Randel helped get the team going, and at the bottom of the second, the Bulldogs were up 10-0.
Drake wasn’t just hot on offense, but it was also strong on defense. Junior Jordan Gronewold pitched for three innings while allowing four hits and one run. Sophomore Rebekah Schmidt took over after Gronewold, pitching two innings, striking out two hitters and allowing only two hits.
With this standout game under their belts, the Bulldogs were ready to take on Iowa State this past Tuesday. Drake fought to the finish, but the game ended 6-5 in the Cyclones’ favor. The Bulldogs faced tough weather conditions but still battled hard.
“We fought hard the whole game especially with the cold and rainy conditions we played in,” Blaylock said. “They just got one more big hit, and the whole game was back-and-forth. I think for the next game against them, we just have to keep hitting and come back with a positive mind.”
The Bulldogs remained scoreless up until the third inning, and senior Sam West was able to get on base with a walk and senior Macie Silliman followed on an error, and they were both driven home by Randel. Silliman led the Bulldogs’ offense with a hitting percentage of 0.75. Sophomore Laura Brewer also stepped up and was two-for-three during her at-bats, bringing in two runs as well.
Drake’s defense was led by starting pitcher Gronewold, who allowed only three runs during her 3 1/3 innings. Gronewold was later relieved by Schmidt, who pitched 2 2/3 innings.
The Bulldogs regained their lead in the top of the fifth inning, bringing home two runs to bring the score to 4-3. This lead was short-lived, however, as the Cyclones were able to regain the lead at the bottom of the fifth with a two-run pinch-hit home run by Aly Cappaert.
Iowa State scored again in the bottom of the sixth, giving the Cyclones a 6-4 lead over the Bulldogs.
Drake was able to score one more time at the top of the seventh, when Brewer led Randel home on a triple into left field. Unfortunately, the Bulldogs’ rally was cut short when the Cyclones struck out sophomore Zeah Peterson to end the game, 6-5.