A grand slam in the first inning of game one was a sign of things to come for Haley Woolf, who put on a batting clinic to lead the University of Evansville softball team to a doubleheader sweep over Bradley on Saturday at Cooper Stadium.
Woolf hit a total of three home runs while recording nine RBI in the doubleheader to lead the Purple Aces (22-19, 10-12 MVC) to a pair of wins. UE took the opener by a 6-4 final before recording a 10-4 win over the Braves (17-19, 10-13 MVC) to complete the day.
The first inning of Saturday’s opener could not have provided a better result for the Purple Aces. Following a 1-2-3 start in the circle by Izzy Vetter, a grand slam by Haley Woolf gave UE a 4-0 lead. A single by Jessica Fehr and a walk by Jenna Lis loaded the bases with two outs. Woolf hit the 1-0 pitch over the left field wall for her third home run of the season.
Woolf did not have to wait very long to hit her fourth homer as her second one of the day came in the fifth when her 2-run homer extended the lead to 6-0. That ended up being a big one for the Aces as Bradley got on the board in the top half of the sixth when Taise Thompson hit a grand slam with two outs. Prior to the sixth, the Braves had just one baserunner but bounced back in a big way to cut the UE lead to two.
Bradley looked to continue the comeback in the top of the seventh. With two outs, a pair of passed balls on a strikeout, coupled with a base hit, loaded the bases, but Jaime Nurrenbern came in and picked up the save to seal the win. UE had five hits on the day with Woolf going a perfect 3-3 with six RBI. Jessica Fehr scored two runs. Vetter gave up four runs in six innings while winning her 11th game of the season.
It took just one pitch for Eryn Gould to give Evansville the lead in game two, taking the first offering from pitcher Camryn Schaller over the left field wall for her 10th long ball of the year. After UE loaded the bases, a groundout by Alyssa Barela brought in the second run of the contest.
In a doubleheader for the ages, Haley Woolf belted her third home run of the day in the second. Her 3-run shot pushed the lead to 5-0 before a solo homer from Marah Wood in the third added one more to the Evansville tally. The Braves got on the board in the fourth when Keeler van Breusegen hit a 2-run single. Another run in the frame made it a 6-3 game.
Evansville got back on track in the fifth when a fielding error by the Braves allowed Halie Fain to score from first base. Allison Daggett converted a successful squeeze play to score Lindsay Renneisen later in the inning. With two outs, a bloop single by Katie McLean plated Gould to push the advantage back to six runs.
Jessica Fehr gave Evansville its largest lead of the day in the 6th when her home run made it a 10-3 game. Bradley scored once in the seventh, but would get no closer as the Aces earned the doubleheader sweep with a 10-4 win. UE posted eight hits with Gould, McLean and Fehr posting two apiece. Gould reached base in all of her plate appearances as she added two walks while scoring three times. Woolf scored twice and had a team-high three RBI.
Jaime Nurrenbern recorded her seventh victory of 2021, tossing four innings allowing three runs, just two earned. Erin Kleffman pitched a masterful final three frames, giving up just one hit on the way to picking up a save.
Tomorrow morning, the series finale will take place at 11 a.m.