Loyola's softball season ended with a 4-1 loss to the Bradley Braves yesterday. It was a solid performance by the Ramblers, but Bradley's Gracie French did a great Shohei Ohtani impression, belting two homers, driving in all four runs and pitching a complete game.
Peyton Pepkowski went the distance for Loyola, allowing only one earned run on six hits and four walks, while striking out six. Pepkowski finished her first season a very solid 12-14. Loyola has high hopes for Pepkowski.
Five Ramblers managed hits, with Nova Sinskul leading the way with two. Madison Ebeling, Amelia Thomas, Haley Wallace and Tori Boysen also got hits. Ebeling and Thomas had stolen bases.
The story of the game really was Bradley's French. When a player has an outstanding performance like that, all you can do is tip your cap.
Loyola finished the season 17-30 (10-17 in MVC play). That's an improvement over last year (13-29, 8-16) Coach Alicia Abbott's first year at the helm.
Ebeling, Sinskul and Abbey Jacobsen are the only seniors. With Covid rules, I do nopt know if they plan on returning. Either way, this si a young Loyola team. Coach Abbott will build it around ace Pepkowski and solid first year player Andie Broniewicz (5-11).
This was my first season fully covering the Ramblers and it was an exciting one. They had several big rallies and some great comeback wins. It wasn't a great season, but it was a season upon which a foundation was built. I expect an improvemnet next season to above ,500.
Thank you to Loyola Athletics for the hospitality all season. Thank you to Coach Abbott and all the Ramblers for their time all season. I already look forward to Fall Ball and next season. For more info on the team, go to LoyolaRamblers.com.
Alicia Abbott and me in Chicago, IL-April 2022.