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Drake softball team captures MVC Tourney title

Photo of Kristin Birocci
The Bulldogs celebrate winning the State Farm MVC Tournament.

CARBONDALE, ILL. — Senior outfielder Kristin Birocci (Des Moines, Iowa/Lincoln) slugged a three-run home run to key a four-run uprising with two outs in the third inning as the Drake softball team beat Missouri State, 7-2, in the championship of the State Farm Missouri Valley Conference Tournament Saturday.

The Bulldogs, who were picked to finish ninth in the preseason MVC coaches poll, earned the league’s automatic qualifying berth in the NCAA Tournament.

Freshman pitcher Brynne Dordel (Chanhassen, Minn.), who was earlier named the MVC Newcomer of the Year, went the distance for Drake scattering six hits while striking out six batters to earn her 19th victory of the season.

Senior catcher Susan Slycord (West Des Moines,Iowa/Valley) capped off the third inning by singling home senior second baseman Jaci Faidley (Colfax, Iowa/Colfax-Mingo).

Faidley had singled and stole second base after the three-run homer by Birocci. Clinging to a 4-2 lead, Drake added three insurance runs in the seventh inning highlight by a two-run double down the left field line by senior first baseman Marilyn Buss (West Des Moines, Iowa/Valley).

Named to the all-tournament team were Faidley, Buss, Biroci and Dordel, the tournament MVP.