Softball opens MVC Championship on Wednesday


UE faces Drake at 4 p.m.


NORMAL, Ill. – Entering the 2024 Missouri Valley Conference Softball Championship as the #10 seed, the University of Evansville softball team opens the tournament on Wednesday against 7th-seeded Drake.  Game time is set for 4 p.m. CT at Marian Kneer Stadium in Normal, Ill. with ESPN+ having the coverage.

Last Time Out

– In the final weekend of the regular season, the Purple Aces were in Normal to face Illinois State with the Redbirds taking the three games by a combined five runs

– Jess Willsey paced the team batting 444 with four hits in nine at-bats along with two RBI

– Lacy Smith recorded her first home run of the season in the weekend finale

Another Strong Weekend

– Finishing the Illinois State series batting .444, Jess Willsey led the Aces and season average at .291, its highest mark since March 29

– Over the last nine games, she is batting .414 with 12 hits in 29 at-bats

– Willsey recorded four hits in 11 plate appearances against Missouri State

Providing a Spark

– Freshman Niki Bode has been unbelievable when given the opportunity against MVC opponents, batting .455 with five hits in 11 at-bats while adding a home run, three RBI and three runs scored

– Bode added another pinch hit at Illinois State and has come through in three of her last five pinch hit opportunities

Finishing Strong

– Hannah Hood picked up three hits in eight at-bats against Missouri State to continue a strong finish to her 5th campaign at UE

– Over her last eight games, Hood is batting .471 with eight hits in 17 trips to the plate

– She picked up the game-winning hit in the 8th inning of the series opener against Murray State before going 1-3 in the second contest

Big Hits

– Jenna Nink was responsible for one of the top moments of the season for the Aces as she belted a 3-run walk-off home run in the April 26 win over Missouri State

– With UE trailing by a 5-3 score entering the bottom of the seventh, she picked up the game-winner with two outs to seal the win

– Nink leads the team with 25 RBI and has a hit in 12 of the last 18 games