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Rapid Recap: Softball starts and so does the Tori Meyer show

Bradley softball tries to make a play at first during a game against Murray State on March 26, 2023. Photo by Jenna Zeise.

The Braves went off to Sin City to begin the softball season in the UNLV Desert Classic on Feb. 16-18. It was a five-game tournament in which they played UC Santa Barbara, UNLV and Iowa State.

To start the weekend, the Braves took on the Gauchos. Junior Sydney Kennedy made her Bradley debut and had three strikeouts in 5.2 innings pitched. However, that wasn’t enough to secure the win as the team lost 0-5.

In the next game the Braves played UNLV, the tournament hosts.

It was now senior Camryn Schaller’s turn to start in the circle. She pitched three innings and tallied four strikeouts. After her start, sophomore Abbot Badgley came in to pitch for an inning.

The Braves threw their first punch in the third inning when sophomore Lauren DeRolf scored the team’s first run of the season. Sadly, the Braves were then battered with six runs in the fourth inning and five in the fifth. The contest ended in a mercy rule loss for the Braves after five innings.

In their second tournament meeting, Bradley beat the Rebels 7-3 on Saturday night, their first win of the season.

The team came out swinging in the first and scored an early run, then continued to dominate the game on every level. The night was especially significant for graduate transfer Tori Meyer, who hit for the cycle while scoring three runs. Meyer’s single, double, triple and home run in the same game and her 1.574 OPS on the weekend earned her Softball Player of the Week from the MVC.

The Braves played Iowa State twice to round out the weekend. The first match between the two on Feb. 17 was a nail-biter until the seventh inning; the Braves and Cyclones threw haymakers back and forth.

Meyer helped the Braves with a home run to put them up 3-1 in the third. Yet, the Cyclones came back and put the Braves down two runs going into the fourth inning. The Braves won that inning 2-1, making the score 5-6.

A scoreless fifth inning for both squads followed, making it a one-point deficit going into the sixth inning. The Braves took advantage, winning the inning 2-1.

Ultimately, the Braves didn’t hold on and let four runs go by in the seventh, making the final score 7-10.

The Braves’ second matchup was a similar story, as Bradley led most of the game but let in four late runs to give Iowa State the edge in a 6-7 final.

The Braves will next go to Birmingham, AL to compete in another five-game weekend at the Green and Gold Classic. Their first match against North Alabama will be played at 9 a.m. on Feb. 23, and their last game will be versus Western Carolina at 8:30 a.m. on Feb. 25.

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