The Bradley softball team won its first conference series of the season against Evansville last weekend.
The Braves were shut out 7-0 in the first game after failing to get a hit until the sixth inning against 2016’s Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) pitcher of the year Morgan Florey but bounced back in the second game to win 7-4.
“The first day we came out expecting [Florey] to throw a good game, and she exceeded my expectations,” senior outfielder Kelly Kapp said. “We struggled a little bit but as the game went on we all put in better at-bats. We ended up losing that game but, we kind of put ourselves in an area that next time we face her, we were going to be ready for her.”
In game three, the Braves proved they were ready to face Florey as they tallied 13 hits and defeated the Purple Aces 8-7.
Along with Sunday’s win, there was also a bit of history made. In the third inning, Kapp swiped second to record her 93rd career steal, a new MVC record. The fact that she stole the base on a pitchout was a perfect representation of how Kapp’s speed puts pressure on opposing teams.
“For [Kapp] to get this accomplishment is awesome,” head coach Amy Hayes said. “For the most part, she has the green light. She causes a lot of doubt in the defense and she really just needs that split second to make something happen. Any time she gets on, it could easily turn into a triple two pitches later. That’s an advantage I think any coach would take.”
Kapp said she is not dwelling on the record too much. Just as her legs keep churning on the base paths, focused on making it to the next base, her mind is focused on keeping her foot on the gas pedal the rest of the season.
“To be honest, I haven’t really thought about it right now because we have so much more of the season left,” Kapp said. “Right now, I just kind of want to put some distance in between [the record]; just keep stealing more bases, then at the end of the year, reflect on how the season went.”
Senior outfielder Caitlyn McCarron also continued to swing a hot bat over the weekend, going 5-10 with seven RBI including a double, triple and homerun. Her performance earned her MVC Player of the Week honors.
After playing their first 32 games on the road, the Braves will finally be in Peoria to play at their new home, Peterson Hotels Field at the Louisville Slugger Sports Complex – 8400 Orange Prairie Rd.
The new field is full Astro Turf and provides more of a stadium atmosphere than the team’s previous home at Laura Bradley Park.
“It’s a beautiful complex out there,” Hayes said. “I hope people come out. We would certainly like to do our best to showcase it and put on a good game for folks.”
The Braves will host Missouri State in a doubleheader beginning at noon tomorrow. The third game of the series will be at 11 a.m. Sunday.
This would be a cool refer.