Aces battle to the finish in Saturday contest


ISU finishes with 6-5 win


NORMAL, Ill. – With the score tied at 5-5 in the bottom of the 7th, Illinois State saw its first four batters reach base to defeat the University of Evansville softball team by a final of 6-5 on Saturday at Marian Kneer Stadium.

Three RBI hits in the bottom of the first saw Illinois State jump out to the early lead.  UE looked to respond in the top of the second as Hannah Hood reached on a leadoff walk before Jenna Nink doubled to right center.  A double play quickly ended the threat.

Illinois State registered three hits in the bottom of the frame before Purple Aces starter Megan Brenton forced a fly out to keep the deficit at three runs with ISU stranding the bases loaded.

Evansville got on the board in the top of the third with three consecutive batters reaching base with two outs.  A Zoe Frossard walk and Brooke Voss single were followed by an RBI hit by Jess Willsey to make it a 3-1 game.  The Redbirds quickly fought back, plating two runs in the bottom of the third.

Things remained at 5-1 until the top of the 5th when two runs scored on another hit by Jess Willsey to cut the deficit to 5-3.  One inning later, it was Frossard coming through with the game-tying hit.  Niki Bode opened the frame with a pinch hit single while Marah Wood reached on a 1-out fielder’s choice.  With two outs, Frossard double to left center to bring in both runners.

Still tied at 5-5 in the bottom of the 7th, the Redbirds rallied to take the win.  Following a leadoff single, ISU saw its next three batters walk as the winning run crossed the plate.   Evansville posted eight hits in the game with Willsey recording a pair.

Brenton tossed three innings with five runs, four earned, crossing the plate.  Mikayla Jolly threw three innings with just one run scoring.

Sunday’s regular-season finale begins with a 12 p.m. first pitch.