After grabbing the lead in the first inning, the Loyola softball team (27-25, 9-17) never trailed as it went on to defeat the University of Evansville 6-1 and advance to the quarterfinals of the Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) tournament.
The bats came alive for Loyola as sophomore catcher Katie Kasubke popped a three-run home run in the first inning to put the Ramblers out in front. In the fifth inning, Loyola scored three more times after loading the bases to lead 6-1.
Sophomore pitcher Kiley Jones ran into some trouble in the first inning, giving up an RBI single to Evansville starting pitcher Morgan Florey, but settled in and earned a complete game victory despite not recording a strikeout.
After the game, Loyola head coach Jeff Tylka said while Kasubke’s home run got his team off to a solid start, the biggest contributor was senior outfielder Erica Nagel. Nagel led the team with three hits and scored two runs.
“[Nagel is] definitely someone who’s ‘you go, we go,’ to steal [Chicago Cubs manager] Joe Maddon’s phrase,” Tylka said. “With her, it’s usually getting her to tone down her energy. She was so jacked up before the game … I think she did a real good job of that.”
The Ramblers are scheduled to take on Wichita State University in the quarterfinals on May 12 at Illinois State University’s Marian Kneer Stadium.