Softball falls in shutout


Jasmyne Taylor/ Courier Staff

Rachel Beatty holds strong at second base.

Haley Richards, Assistant Sports Editor

PEORIA, Ill. – On Wednesday, the Western Illinois softball team took on Bradley University, and fell by a score of 12-0, which now puts them at 7-23 on the season. The Braves are now 12-14 overall in their season.

Bradley started the game with intensity and took an early lead of 9-0 after two home runs, an RBI single up the middle, and three RBI doubles in the first inning.

Western was able to get two players on base when Rachel Beatty and Ashely Minyard were both walked. Unfortunately, they were left stranded on base. The Braves then got another three runs in the bottom of the third.

The only hit of the day for the Leathernecks was a single to right field in the second inning by sophomore infielder Halle Hollatz. Freshman infielder Dom Mannerino had her first career start as a Leatherneck, and Madison Boone had her third career start.

Junior Megan Lotarski, freshman Abby Carlin and junior Payton Abbott all got a chance in the circle for Western. Ira currently sits at fifth in the conference with a run average (ERA) of 3.45 and is third in the conference standings for strikeouts at 87.

After this past game, senior outfielder Sam Ralphs still leads the Leathernecks offensively with a .421 batting average. Sophomore outfielder Jasmine Lara is behind her with an average of .345 and junior infielder Hailey Duwa at .321. Lara also sits at fifth in the conference for batting average.

The Purple and Gold will now begin their Summit League plays, with their first stop in Vermillion, South Dakota. They will face the University of South Dakota in a two-game series March 30-31. The Coyotes are currently ranked fifth in the conference and have an overall record of 10-20.

Last year, Western won the three-game series against South Dakota. The first game of the series they won by a score of 9-4, the second game they lost 15-4 and won the last game 9-8.

Following South Dakota, the Leathernecks will head back home to face Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne. The Mastodons are ranked third in the Summit League and hold a record of 12-19.

Currently, Western Illinois is sitting at the bottom of the conference standings. Only four of the six teams will make it to the conference tournament in Fargo, North Dakota. The Summit League championship is set for May 5-12.

In last year’s tournament, the Leathernecks fell to the two top seeded teams in the conference championship. They ended their Summit League play tied in second, with a record of 11-7.

Twitter: hayfourrr