Bradley Softball Competes At Citrus Classic


Published on February 26 2018 10:12 am
Last Updated on February 26 2018 10:12 am

ORLANDO, Fla. – Junior Gabby Stoner and freshman Jillian Navarro both homered to highlight a 4-0 Bradley victory over Purdue after the Braves suffered an 8-0 loss to 24th-ranked South Carolina to open Friday’s action at the Citrus Softball Classic.

Bradley (4-3 overall) regrouped after opening the day with a loss to nationally ranked South Carolina for a 4-0 victory over Purdue behind a five-hit complete game shutout effort by sophomore hurler Emma Jackson, who picked up her second shutout in three starts.  Jackson struck out seven in the win as she improved to 2-1 on the year.

Jackson and the Braves were out to an early lead with Stoner belting a home run to lead off the bottom of the first.  Freshman Stacia Seeton led off Bradley’s half of the second with a single and fellow frosh Vicki Zaluske added a two-out single to set things up for Navarro’s three-run homer which gave Bradley a 4-0 advantage.

Jackson gave up a double to start the game, but got out of the inning unscathed and erased a leadoff single to start the third with an inning-ending double play.  Purdue (1-10 overall) had two on and no outs to open fourth only to have Jackson escape with a groundout and a pair of strikeouts to get out of the jam.  The Boilermakers would later leave a pair in scoring position to end the fifth.

Navarro went 2-for-3 with a run, three RBI and her first career homer, while Stoner was 1-for-2 with a homer and two walks.

In the day’s first game, Bradley opened play at the Citrus Classic with an 8-0 loss to 24th-ranked South Carolina.  The Braves managed just two hits off South Carolina (12-1 overall) starter Kelsey Oh in the loss.  The Gamecocks scored three runs in the bottom of the first inning on a bases loaded sacrifice fly, a Bradley throwing error and an Alyssa VanDerveer RBI single.

A five-run inning for South Carolina broke the game open as Alyssa Kumiyama provided the big hit of the frame with a two-run homer to give the Gamecocks an 8-0 advantage.

Bradley drew leadoff walks in both the third and fourth innings, with a runner thrown out at the plate to end the fourth on a Taise Thompson two-out double.  Freshman Stacia Seeton singled to open the Bradley half of the fifth, but the Braves came up empty again as Oh struck out five in the complete game shutout effort for South Carolina.


Bradley softball managed just three hits off Minnesota pitching as the 22nd-ranked Golden Gophers posted a 4-0 victory over the Braves Saturday morning to open the second day of the Citrus Classic.

Defending Big Ten Conference champion Minnesota (8-4 overall) used a pair of homers to power by Bradley (4-4 overall) Saturday morning with the Golden Gophers belting a three-run shot off BU starter Megan Mahaffy in the first and a solo shot in the third.

A walk and fielder’s choice in the bottom of the first inning proved costly for Mahaffy and the Braves as Kendyl Lindaman followed with a three-run homer to right center.

Bradley had its first base runner of the contest in the top of the third inning via a leadoff walk by sophomore Allison Apke (Teutopolis graduate), but Minnesota starter Amber Fiser got out of the inning unscathed and the Golden Gophers added an insurance run in the bottom half of the frame on a Sydney Dwyer two-out solo homer to push the lead to 4-0.

Fiser took a no-hit bid into the sixth inning before senior Elizabeth Leonard led off the inning with a single for the first of three BU hits in the contest.  Minnesota was able to turn a double play, however, and the Braves trailed 4-0 heading to the seventh.

Bradley tried to mount a two-out rally in the seventh.  Freshman Stacia Seeton ripped a two-out double down the left field line for the second hit of the game for the Braves.  Apke followed with a single to right, but Seeton was thrown out at the plate to end the game as Minnesota posted a 4-0 victory.

After giving up four hits in the first three innings, Mahaffy settled down to limit the Golden Gophers to just three hits in the final three frames.  Mahaffy (0-2) struck out four and walked two in the complete game effort for the Braves.

Fiser improved to 6-2 on the year for Minnesota, striking out nine and holding Bradley to one hit in six innings of work.

Sophomore Kealia Wysocki gave Bradley doftball a 6-5 lead over 23rd-ranked Kentucky with a RBI single in the sixth, but the Wildcats collected five hits and took advantage of three BU errors in the top of the seventh to top the Braves 11-6 Saturday afternoon at the Citrus Classic.

Bradley (4-5 overall) had to battle from behind throughout the game before Wysocki’s RBI single in the sixth, only to have Kentucky rally for six runs in the top of the seventh to pull out the win.  The game was Bradley’s fifth of the season against a nationally ranked team.

Both Bradley and Kentucky (7-3 overall) left a pair of runners on in the first and both teams struck for a single run in the second.  The Wildcats, which reached the NCAA Super Regionals last year, got on the board first with back-to-back doubles to leadoff the second leading to a run.  BU starter Emma Jackson got out of a bases loaded jam to end the inning.

In the Bradley half of the second, Wysocki ripped a two-out solo homer to left center as the Braves pulled even at 1-1. Wysocki, who went 2-for-3 with a run and two RBI, collected her second home run of the year.

Kentucky answered with a run in the top of the third to go back in front 2-1.  Katie Reed led off the frame with a triple and scored on a Jenny Schaper double.  The Wildcats left another two runners on and stranded seven runners in the first three innings.

A pair of Kentucky hits and two passed balls helped lead to a three-run top of the fifth as the Wildcats opened up a 5-1 advantage.

Bradley would rally in a big way, however, in the bottom half of the inning.  The Braves had a pair of hit batters sandwiched around a Gabby Stoner single to load the bases with two outs.  Sophomore Allison Apke (Teutopolis graduate) had one of the big hits of the day with a grand slam to left to tie the score at 5-5.

Junior Katie Habryle led off the bottom of the sixth with a double and gave way to pinch runner Sydney Young, who scored from second on a Wysocki single to give Bradley its first lead of the day at 6-5.  The Braves tried to add insurance runs, but left a pair in scoring position to end the frame.

Kentucky struck for six runs in the top of the seventh, thanks in part to five hits and three Bradley errors.  The Wildcats loaded the bases with one out on a single and a pair of walks.  Erin Rethlake drove in the game-tying run with a single and another run came home on a Bradley error on the play.  Two more runs came home on an Abbey Cheek single to give Kentucky a 9-6 advantage.  Reed followed with another RBI single and another BU error allowed her to come all the way around to score as the Wildcats built an 11-6 lead.

After driving in the game-tying run in the top half of the seventh, Rethlake returned to the circle for Kentucky in the bottom of the seventh for a 1-2-3 inning to close out the 11-6 win for the Wildcats.

Stoner (2-for-4), Schroeder (2-for-3) and Wysocki (2-for-3) combined for six of Bradley’s eight hits in the contest.  Junior Megan Mahaffy suffered the loss for the Braves, tossing 1.2 innings out of the bullpen.


Julie Kestas limited South Alabama to four hits in four innings and sophomore Emma Jackson tossed two perfect innings out of the bullpen, but the Jaguars held Bradley to just two hits as the Braves concluded play at the Citrus Classic with a 2-0 loss Sunday morning.

A first-inning single by senior Maria Schroeder and a seventh-inning double by freshman Jillian Navarro were the only Bradley hits on the day as South Alabama hurlers Alexis Reid and Devin Brown combined for a two-hit shutout.

Bradley (4-6 overall) threatened to score early, loading the bases in the first inning with a hit batter, Schroeder’s single and an Allison Apke walk.  Reid got out of the jam, however with a strikeout and groundout to end the inning as the Braves left the bases loaded.

Kestas retired South Alabama (7-8 overall) in order in the bottom half of the first, before the Jaguars struck for a run in the second.  Brittani Reid had a two-out single and South Alabama had a hit batter and walk to load the bases.  A walk to Katelyn Gruich drove in Brittani Reid from third to give the Jaguars a 1-0 lead.  Kestas got a strikeout to prevent any more damage and end the frame.

Bradley left five runners on base in the first three innings and found itself trailing 2-0 after South Alabama added a run in the third.  Kristian Foster got things started with a two-out double and would eventually score on a Brittani Reid single.

The Braves were unable to reach base in either the fourth or fifth innings, before Apke reached on a one-out error in the sixth.  Bradley was unable to push her across, however, and trailed 2-0 heading to the seventh.

Navarro ripped a double down the left field line in the top of the seventh for Bradley’s second hit of the game.  Brown, who took over in the third inning in the circle for South Alabama, induced a flyout and groundout to close out the 2-0 win for the Jaguars.

Kestas surrendered four hits and two earned runs in four-plus innings of work.  Jackson relieved Kestas with a runner on and no outs in the fifth to face the minimum out of the bullpen in her two shutout innings.

Bradley heads to Memphis, Tenn., for next weekend’s Blues City Classic, where the Braves will open tournament play Friday with an 11 a.m. game against Louisiana-Monroe.