The University of Evansville softball team couldn’t get its offense clicking this afternoon in a mid-week doubleheader against nationally ranked Missouri, leading to two loses on the day.
The Purple Aces (9-8) fell in both games against Missouri (15-5). The final score of game one was 7-3 and game two was 6-2.
And although Head Coach Mark Reburn’s team lost, he saw a ton of positives from the Aces:
“I think the big thing that we took away from today was that we were able to square up on a lot of balls, hitting a lot of line drives and we were able to make some good defensive plays. Megan (Gurski) and Kayla (Fortner) both went yard on the day and that was great for our offense. Our girls competed really well and that’s all we can ask.”
“In game two, we were able to compete despite trailing in the sixth. Our team didn’t quit and they still battled and we were able to put two runs on the board in the bottom of the seventh. These games are definitely going to help us down the road, as we showed strong heart throughout the losses.”
In game one of the doubleheader, Evansville would bring in freshman Briana Combs to the circle and the right-hander held Missouri’s offense in check through the first two innings.
The Purple Aces would strike first in the bottom of the second as a sacrifice-fly from Kirsten O’Conner would drive in Michal Luckett, giving UE the early 1-0 lead.
Mizzou would strike back in the top of the third on an RBI single by Emily Crane.
Combs would keep the Tigers scoreless in the top of the fourth and Evansville would take advantage.
The Purple Aces got back to back home runs from juniors Megan Gurski and Kayla Fortner to begin the bottom of the fourth, putting Evansville up 3-1 going into the top of the fifth.
Annie Moore (2-1) would enter the game for Combs and pitch a scoreless fifth inning. But during the top of the sixth is where Missouri would take over.
Mizzou would score four runs in the top of the sixth, as Moore would give up 4 RBI and two homers, giving Missouri the 5-3 lead. The sophomore pitcher would receive the loss pitching 1.2 innings, giving up four runs. The Aces brought Combs back in the game and she would close out the inning.
Evansville wouldn’t be able to match the Tigers offensive power in the bottom of the sixth and Missouri would take advantage in the top of the seventh.
Missouri would add two more runs off of a homerun in the top of the seventh and Evansville wouldn’t be able to come back in the bottom of the inning, giving Mizzou the 7-3 victory.
Game two started out as a pitching battle between junior Megan Gurski (4-4) and Casey Stangel (7-2) as both pitchers would hold the opposing offenses scoreless through the first three innings.
The top of the fourth was where the Tigers would take over. Missouri would score six runs in the top of the inning, and that would be all the action Gurski would see on the day. The Saskatchewan native, who would receive the loss, finished with six runs on six hits, striking out one in 4.0 innings.
Evansville would bring in Emily Morris for the rest of the contest and Morris would hold the Tigers offense in check. Morris would finish the contest allowing only one hit in 3.0 innings of work.
The Purple Aces would add two runs in the bottom of the seventh on a single homerun by Megan Gurski and an RBI single by Luckett, but the runs would come too late as Evansville would fall, 6-2.
UE will host in-state and Missouri Valley Conference rival Indiana State this weekend in its first conference play of the 2014 season. The games will take place on Mar.15-16 starting at 12:00 p.m. on Saturday.