PEORIA, Ill. -- The Bradley softball team wraps up a season-long, five-game home stand with a weekend series against I-74 rival Illinois State Saturday and Sunday at Laura Bradley Park. The Braves and Redbirds will play a noon doubleheader Saturday, before concluding the three-game set with a single game on Sunday.
Saturday's doubleheader will be Bradley's annual pink game with the team wearing special pink uniforms to help promote breast cancer awareness. The first 150 fans will receive a free pink Bradley t-shirt.
The Braves will be hosting a post-game clinic for children eighth grade and younger following Sunday's noon game with proceeds benefitting the Crittenton Center of Peoria. For more information or to register for the clinic please contact assistant coach Jennie Shollenberger at jshollenberger@bradley or (309) 677-2565.
Bradley (17-22 overall, 7-9 MVC) split a doubleheader against league-leading Northern Iowa Wednesday, posting a 9-3 victory in the second game to hand the Panthers their first conference loss of the year. The win snapped an 18-game regular-season MVC win streak for UNI which dated back to last season. Northern Iowa, which received votes in this week's USA Today/NFCA Top 25, holds a three-game lead on second-place in the conference race.
The Braves enter the final three weekends of the regular season tied with Missouri State for sixth in the league standings at 7-9 and are two and a half games behind Illinois State (25-20 overall, 10-7 MVC). The Redbirds enter the series tied with Drake for fourth in the Valley standings after splitting a doubleheader at Indiana State Wednesday. Bradley is three games behind third-place Creighton, while Illinois State enters the weekend a half game behind the Bluejays.
Junior pitcher Mackenzie Camp (Mapleton, Ill./Limestone) tied a career high with seven strikeouts against UNI Wednesday afternoon, earning her third consecutive victory. Camp is 4-4 in Valley play with a 2.49 ERA and needs just one more win in the circle to give BU two pitchers with eight or more wins in the same season since 2004.
Senior Jackie Roth (Hickory Hills, Ill./Stagg) helped highlight Wednesday's win against UNI with three RBI against the Panthers and is now hitting .364 in Missouri Valley Conference play. Roth needs three games played to move into sixth in school history in career games and is one walk away from becoming the seventh Bradley player to draw 50 career walks.
Fellow senior Julie Sherman (Hickory Hills, Ill./Stagg) is tied for the conference lead with 18 stolen bases and needs just one more steal to be the first Bradley player to swipe 19 or more bases in a season since Katie Kiss had 24 in 2000. Sherman scored three runs in Wednesday's victory, moving into a tie for 10th in career runs at BU. She is the first Brave to crack the school's career top 10 in runs scored since Amy Fouts closed the 2001 campaign with 81 runs scored. Sherman is tied with Cheryl Forgason for 10th in school history with 71 runs.
Following the weekend series with Illinois State, Bradley kicks off the final road swing of the 2012 season Wednesday with a 6 p.m. game at Northern Iowa.