PEORIA, Ill. -- Sophomore Alex Chandler (Needles, Calif./Needles) drove in both of Bradley's runs, hitting a solo homer in the third and driving in the game-winning run in the bottom of the eighth on a squeeze play to help power the Braves to a 2-1, eight-inning win against Evansville Sunday at Laura Bradley Park.
Tied 1-1 heading into the late innings, Bradley (13-19 overall, 3-6 MVC) left the bases loaded in the sixth and stranded runners at first and third in the seventh as the Braves and Purple Aces went into the eighth. Sophomore pitcher Madeline Lynch-Crumrine (Sedro-Woolley, Wash./Sedro-Woolley) retired Evansville in order in the seventh and eighth, helping set up Chandler's late-game heroics.
An Evansville error to open the bottom of the eighth allowed freshman Alyson Clemente (Murrieta, Calif./Murrieta Valley) to reach base and pinch runner Mariah Cole (Springfield, Ill./Chatham Glenwood) stole second and third before Lexi Cremeens (Dix, Ill./Mount Vernon) was intentionally walked. With one out and runners at first and third, Chandler pushed a bunt past UE first baseman Allison Aguilera to drive in Cole from third as the Braves claimed the three-game series with the 2-1 victory.
Evansville (9-22 overall, 2-7 MVC) had just four hits off Lynch-Crumrine, who gave up just one earned run in 16.1 innings of work in the series. The Purple Aces managed to string together a couple hits in the top of the third, however, and took a 1-0 lead on an RBI groundout by Tamara Robey.
Chandler quickly pulled Bradley even with a solo homer to open the bottom of the third, belting her second homer of the year to right field to knot the score at 1-1.
After surrendering the run in the third, Lynch-Crumrine limited Evansville to one hit and one walk in the final five innings. She finished the game with three strikeouts and one walk in the complete game win to improve to 7-11 on the season.
Bradley had several chances to plate the winning run in both the sixth and seventh innings. Sophomore Bailiegh Basham (Mattoon, Ill./Mattoon/Lake Land C.C.) tied the BU season record for walks with her 27th base on balls to open the sixth and BU loaded the bases with one out after a Lynch-Crumrine single and Shannon King (San Jose, Calif./Archbishop Mitty) walk. UE hurler Sarah Patterson retired the next two hitters she faced after King's intentional pass and the teams went into the seventh tied at 1-1.
Senior Jackie Roth (Hickory Hills, Ill./Stagg) capped a 3-for-4 day at the plate with a two-out double in the bottom of the seventh and Basham broke the Bradley season walks record, receiving an intentional walk, before Patterson struck out Lynch-Crumrine to end the threat.
Chandler was 2-for-4 with a run and two RBI in addition to notching four putouts and nine assists in the field.
Bradley opens a six-game Missouri Valley Conference road swing Friday with a noon doubleheader at Missouri State.