The Loyola softball team (24-21, 7-13) is on a three- conference-series-win streak after winning six of its last eight games against Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) opponents.
The win streak comes after the Ramblers were swept by Illinois State University in a three-game series and dropped two out of three games against Wichita State University at the beginning of April.
Loyola began conference play on March 18 and lost the first four MVC series.
But a recent change-up in Loyola’s batting line-up has helped head coach Jeff Tylka and his team have a spark of life in the MVC.
First-year Shannon McGee is now leading the Ramblers line-up. McGee has had a breakout season and has a .316 batting average after recording 43 hits, which is good for 23 RBIs.
Senior outfielder Erica Nagel and sophomore catcher/first baseman Katie Kasubke has also been instrumental to the Ramblers’ offensive success. Nagel has a .259 batting average, while Kasubke holds a .250 batting average with 31 hits and 20 RBIs.
The Ramblers have also found success from the mound.
Both of Loyola’s lone pitchers are ranked top 15 out of MVC pitchers for best earned run average (ERA). Sophomore pitchers Keenan Dolezal has a 2.48 ERA, while Kiley Jones holds a 2.09 ERA.
Dolezal pitched two games in the Ramblers’ three-game series against Southern Illinois University. Dolezal threw a complete game on April 14 and only allowed a single run in the Ramblers’ 1-0 win over the Salukis. The day before, Dolezal matched a career-high six strikeouts in 4.1 innings against Southern Illinois.
Most recently, Jones allowed three hits in Loyola’s 1-0 win over the University of Northern Iowa on April 23, to record her 16th win this season.
The Ramblers are ranked seventh out of ten teams in the MVC. Loyola is scheduled to travel to Terre Haute, Indiana to face Indiana State University on April 26 at 3 p.m. After that, the Ramblers will host Bradley University on April 29-30.