Drake Pitching Too Much for Softball Bears in Doubleheader Sweep
DES MOINES, Iowa -- Drake’s junior duo of Brynne Dordel and Jenna DeLong turned in a pair dominant performances to key the Bulldogs’ doubleheader sweep of the Missouri State softball team, taking a 3-1, game-one win before pounding the Bears, 8-0 in the second game Saturday afternoon at Buel Field. DU built early leads in both contests then turned to Dordel and DeLong, who limited the Bears to just five hits combined in the two games.
Dordel gave up just four hits while striking out eight Bears in her complete-game win in the first game of the twin bill, while DeLong allowed only one hit-a one-out single by Jenna Schwark in the fourth inning-in the nightcap.
The Bulldogs plated single runs in each of the first three innings of game one to give Dordel all the offensive support she would need. Macie Silliman singled and stole second base with one out in the bottom of the first inning to set up DU’s first scoring opportunity. MSU starter Lauren Supak struck out Bridget Shields on three pitches for out number two, but Torey Craddock came through with a base hit to center to drive in Silliman with the game’s first run.
Drake added another tally on Lindsey Vande Wall’s ninth home run of the season to lead-off the second inning. The Bulldogs also tacked on a run in the third, as Shields’ single to center brought in Silliman, who drew a lead-off walk against Supak to spark the DU offense.
Dordel (14-4) kept the Bears at bay, working around a pair of potential scoring opportunities to preserve DU’s lead. Missouri State put a pair of runners on base in three consecutive innings, but the Bulldogs’ junior lefty wiggled out of each jam to keep her shutout bid intact. She struck-out Kirstin Cutter to strand Christa Gammon at second and end the third, then got Bubba Weiss to line into a double-play on a bunt attempt and Madison Hargrove on a pop-up to thwart MSU’s rally in the fourth. The Bears threatened again in the fifth, using a one-out error and a two-out walk to Gammon to once again bring the tying run to the plate. But Dordel escaped the situation by coaxing a fly-out to center off the bat of Cutter.
MSU would finally break the scoring seal on Stevie Pierce’s lead-off homer to straight-away center field in the top of the seventh. A one-out walk to Alaina Burkhart gave the Bears one final chance, but Dordel again avoided the big inning, retiring Gammon on a grounder to first and fanning Cutter to close out the victory for Drake.
DU wasted little time in staking its claim to game two, jumping on MSU starter Lauren McGinley for four runs on three hits in the bottom of the first inning. Elena Leon drew a walk to start the inning, and Silliman followed with the first homer of her Drake career to make it an early 2-0 contest. The Bulldogs weren’t quite done, as Erin Mollohan delivered the first of her two doubles to drive home Shields, then scored the fourth run of the contest on a double steal.
The Bulldogs added a run the following inning, capitalizing on a pair of MSU errors to stretch their lead to 5-0. DU broke the game wide open in the third, as DeLong helped her own cause with a two-run homer, and Leon drove in Carrie Hatfield with a two-out single to right to push the margin to eight runs.
That would be more than enough for DeLong (14-6), who struck-out eight and faced just two batters over the minimum in the five-inning decision that sent the Bears to their fourth straight defeat.
Schwark led the Bears, drawing three walks and reaching base four times in five trips to the plate overall on the afternoon.
Silliman was a spark plug for Drake all afternoon, going 1-for-2 with a walk and two runs scored in game one, before setting the tone in the second game with her first-inning long ball.
The Bears (13-24, 8-8 MVC) and Bulldogs (28-11, 8-4 MVC) will wrap up their three-game series with a single contest Sunday (April 18) at noon.