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Aces Fall in Season Finale to Bears

May 4, 2014

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The University of Evansville Purple Aces softball team fell in their final game of the 2014 season to Missouri Valley Conference rival Missouri State. The Bears won the series finale by a final score of 3-1.
With the loss, UE fell to 19-32 on the season and finished in last place in the Valley with a 7-19 record. The Bears improved to 27-26 overall and are set to travel to Normal, Illinois for the conference tournament with a 10-16 Valley record, good enough for the eighth seed.
The game was a close one at Cooper Stadium as the Aces and Bears fought it out for seventh tough innings. The Purple Aces managed to take the early lead in the bottom of the first on a pair of doubles. Kayla Fortner hit a double that got her on base and then Susan Norris hit one later in the inning that drove in Fortner for the score, giving UE the early 1-0 lead.
The Bears wouldn't stay scoreless for long, as the visiting team hit an RBI single in the top of the second to tie the game at one a piece.
Megan Gurski and Struemph for Missouri State kept the game scoreless heading into the fourth inning and in the top of the fourth, Gurski took a hard hit ball to the side of her face and that would be the day for the junior. Danielle Freeman (0-2) entered the game for the Aces and she closed out the inning.
Freeman and Struemph battled for the next two innings and in the top of the seventh is where the Bears would strike. Freeman gave up a walk and a single to give the Bears two base runners and that would be the day for the freshman. Freeman finished throwing 2.1 innings, allowing two runs on three hits as she received the loss for Evansville.
Briana Combs entered the game for the Aces and she gave up two sacrifice fly RBI's that gave the Bears the 3-1 victory.
Despite the loss, Coach Mark Redburn was happy with how his team competed:
"It was a tough one for the team, especially with it being senior day, but I felt that everyone battled and gave it their best shot. Overall the team put on a good performance and everyone played their best, especially the four seniors. I wish the four of them the best of luck in the future and thank them for everything they did for our team over the past four years."
This was the final game of the 2014 season for the Purple Aces. Evansville has a bright future with 15 players returning for next season.

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