Bradley Softball Team Competes at Petersen Hotels Invitational


Published on February 12 2018 1:35 pm
Last Updated on February 12 2018 1:35 pm

PEORIA -- Right side infielders Elizabeth Leonard and Katie Habryle both were a combined 3-for-6 in Bradley's two games Friday, helping the Braves (2-1) to a split during the second day of action in the Petersen Hotels Invitational at the Louisville Slugger Sports Complex Dome.

Rebounding from an 11-0 loss in five innings against No. 4 Washington (2-0), Bradley earned a run-rule shortened win of its own in the day's final game, an 8-0 triumph against Miami-Ohio (0-2) in six innings.  Saint Louis (1-2) played in both of the day's first two games, taking a 6-0 win against Miami before suffering a 15-3 loss to Washington in five innings.  The first nationally-ranked softball team to visit Peoria, the fourth-ranked Huskies pounded out five home runs in their 10 innings of action Friday.

Taran Alvelo, an Illinois native who earned first-team All-Pac 12 Conference honors last year while helping Washington to the 2017 Women's College World Series, struck out 11 while allowing just two hits in the 11-0 victory against the Braves.  Huskies first baseman Kirstyn Thomas led Washington's 11-hit attack by going 3-for-6 with a double, two home runs and six RBI's.

Habryle opened the second inning with a solid single to left field and Leonard legged out an infield single to open the fourth for Bradley's second hit.  Brooklyn Bane worked Alvelo for a walk in the third inning, but the Huskies ace did not allow any of Bradley's three runners to reach second base.

The Braves bounced right back in the day's final game in support of sophomore hurler Emma Jackson (1-0), who twirled a 4-hit shutout in her first career complete game.  Jackson struck out three and needed just 72 pitches to complete her shutout.

Leonard, third baseman Maria Schroeder and Habryle all were 2-for-4 with one RBI and at least one run scored (Leonard scored twice).  Catcher Kealia Wysocki smashed Bradley's first home run of the season, a solo blast in the fifth, and Habryle ended the game early by invoking the 8-run mercy rule with her RBI single in the sixth.

Allison Apke, a Teutopolis graduate, had a single in her one at-bat for Bradley.

Bradley softball rallied for a 5-4 victory over in-state foe Western Illinois in the final game of the 2018 Petersen Hotels Invitational Sunday, after suffering a loss to fourth-ranked Washington to start the day.

The Braves (3-2 overall) capped the season-opening event at the Louisville Slugger Sports Complex with a comeback victory after falling behind Western Illinois (2-2 overall) 3-0 and 4-3 for a 5-4 win over the Leathernecks.  Gabby Stoner was 2-for-3 with a pair of RBI against WIU, while Julie Kestas struck out eight in the win to improve to 2-0 on the year.  Sophomore Emma Jackson took over in the seventh for Kestas to earn her first save of 2018.

Western Illinois jumped out to an early lead with a three-run second.  Starting pitcher Abby Carlin had a bloop double down the left field line and Meghan Henson followed with a two-run homer to put the Leathernecks in front.  A Kelsey Marlow double and RBI single off the bat of Payton Abbott led to another Western Illinois run as the Leathernecks led 3-0.

Bradley got on the scoreboard in the bottom half of the inning with a two-out rally.  Sophomore Sydney Young followed a two-out Stacia Seeton single with an infield single of her own.  Allison Apke drove in Seeton from second with a single to left center.  The Braves loaded the bases on a four-pitch walk by Brooklyn Bane and Stoner tied it up at 3-3 with a two-run single to left.

Western Illinois had a two-out rally of its own in the top of the third.  After a leadoff walk, Rachel Beatty stole second with two outs and came around to score on a Henson single to give the Leathernecks a 4-3 advantage.

A run in the bottom of the fourth by the Braves tied it up again at 4-4.  Bradley had runners at first and second with one out when Stoner ripped a single to right.  Western Illinois threw out the lead runner at the plate, but an obstruction call later on the play allowed Bane to score the tying run.

Bradley took its first lead of the day with a run in the bottom of the fifth.  Back-to-back singles by Maria Schroeder and Katie Habryle to open the frame knocked the Western Illinois starter from the circle.  The Leathernecks were able to turn a double play for the first two outs of the inning, but a wild pitch allowed Schroeder to race home as the Braves took a 5-4 lead.

Kestas retired Western Illinois in order in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings before surrendering a leadoff single to open the seventh.  Jackson came on in relief to get a pair of groundouts and a lineout to close out the Bradley win.

Earlier in the day, Bradley suffered a 15-0 loss to fourth-ranked Washington to start the final day of competition at the Petersen Hotels Invitational.  The Huskies broke the game open with an 11-run sixth inning which included a pair of grand slams.  Washington went a perfect 5-0 on the weekend to win the Petersen Hotels Invitational, with the Huskies slugging 16 home runs and outscoring its opponents 70-3 for the weekend.

Bradley hits the road for the first time in 2018, heading to Las Vegas, Nev., for the Marucci Desert Classic where the Braves will open tournament play Friday with an 11 a.m. game against Nevada.