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Bradley softball takes series win against Illinois State

Abbott Badgley winds up for a pitch. Photo courtesy of Bradley Athletics

After the doubleheader last week, where Bradley (23-21 overall, 11-10 MVC) and Illinois State (19-25 overall, 9-11 MVC) won one game apiece, the two teams concluded the season series with another midweek game. At Marian Kneer Stadium in Normal, Illinois, Bradley took the series win against their I-74 rival with a 5-2 victory.

The story of the game was the long-ball for Bradley as they had three of them on the night.

In the battle between the No. 5 seed in the conference Bradley and the No. 6 seed ISU, the scoring started early for the road team. Freshman Abbott Badgley blasted her team-leading solo home run in the top of the second to give the Braves a 1-0 lead.

One inning later in the top of the third, senior Lucy Mead sparked a two-out rally for Bradley with a single. Fellow senior Grace French was hit by a pitch, putting runners on first and third as another senior, Samantha Smith, hit a bases-clearing double which extended the lead to 3-0.

The scoring slowed down until the bottom of the fifth as No. 9 hitter Reili Gardner hit an RBI single for the Redbirds, cutting the deficit to 3-1. The next batter, Delainey Bryant, hit a sacrifice fly to make the game 3-2.

Some people say two is better than one, and that was the case for Bradley in the seventh inning. The Braves hit two solo shots, one from sophomore Jordy van der Werf and the other from Mead, pushing the lead to the final score of 5-2. Mead led the way for Bradley’s offense, collecting two of the Braves’ ten hits.

Hannah Ross of ISU was handed the loss, throwing three innings while allowing three runs on six hits and two strikeouts. Amanda Fox threw the last four innings allowing two runs on four hits and four strikeouts. Fox earned the win in game two of the series.

For Bradley, French (9-8) went the distance on the mound, allowing two runs on six hits with four strikeouts.

Bradley heads to Springfield, Missouri this weekend for the final regular-season road trip of the year against Missouri State.

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