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Softball team drops two of three games to Drake Bulldogs

The softball team played against Drake in a three-game series, but only brought home one victory.
In the first game of the doubleheader, the Braves lost to the Drake Bulldogs 14-1 and fell to the mercy rule in the fifth inning.
The Bulldogs struck first and often, by scoring three in the first inning and put at least one run on the scoreboard in every inning of the game. Drake’s Vande Wall started the trend when she belted a run-scoring triple in the first inning.
The Braves’ lone run came in the third when senior Amanda Clack led off the inning with a double and advanced to third on a Bulldogs’ error. Senior Janay Mitchell followed with a single into left field to score Clack from third.
Junior Katie Dennis took the loss. She gave up four runs on four hits in her one inning of work.
“We felt frustrated and embarrassed about not performing to the level we know we can play,” Mitchell said. “We all know that you cannot linger on the negatives and the past. We came out the next game with a clean slate and a new attitude. Everyone wanted to prove that we can play better than that. So we came out the next game and fought really hard.”
The Braves came out swinging in the second game of the doubleheader. They recorded a season-high 15 hits on their way to winning the nightcap by a final of 12-11 in 10 innings.
The Braves left runners on base in the first inning but played small ball in the second to plate the first run of the contest after sophomore Jackie Roth led off with a single and stole second. Clack later singled to right center to score Roth from third.
The Braves got another run in the third and added to the score in the fourth when freshman Taylor Cox ripped a two-out single to left field and brought home two runs.
Drake got one run in both the fourth and fifth innings before the Braves got one more in the sixth inning when Clack hit a two-out single, followed by a Mitchell single. Cox picked up her third RBI of the game getting a hit into left field scoring Clack.
Drake tied it up in the bottom of the inning, plating three runs, but the Braves came right back scoring four in the top of the seventh to push the score to 9-5.
With two runners on and no outs, junior Brittany Fairbairn drove in both runners with a double to deep left field. She later scored on an illegal pitch, and the Braves got their fourth run on a passed ball.
Drake fought back to score four runs in the bottom of the frame to again tie the score.
The tie wouldn’t last long however, as Cox led off the top of the eighth with her third hit of the game, a double to left center field. Sophomore Julie Sherman then came up to belt her first homerun of the season, giving the Braves the 11-9 lead.
Drake once again tied the game in the bottom of the eighth, using a lead-off homerun from Wall and got another run when a pinch runner scored on an up-the-middle single.
The ninth inning came and went scoreless from both sides. The Bulldogs were retired in order.
Junior Kate Singler led off the 10th with a double to center and was advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt. She later scored on a Fairburn groundout to give the Braves a 12-11 lead.
Clack closed the game out, securing the victory in the nightcap of the doubleheader.
“The first game was a let down, once again we did not play to our potential and they ran over top of us,” Mitchell said. “The second game, we woke up and decided to fight. We worked so hard and fought tooth and nail for that victory. That was a really great moment for our team.”
In the final game of the series, the Braves were unable to get on the scoreboard, losing to Drake 2-0.
“The final game of the series we did not play badly, we just did not get the timely hits necessary to win the game,” Mitchell said. “We just have to learn to have the determination and drive we did the second game of the Drake series every game.”
The Braves look to rebound this weekend against SIU at home.
“SIU is good, there is no question about it,” Mitchell said. “We just cannot let the name on the jersey get in our heads. If we come out with confidence, determination and a winning attitude, then I think we will have a good weekend.”
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