|Schedule||March 18 | at Evansville | 12 p.m. (CT) | Live Stats | ESPN3
March 18 | at Evansville | 2 p.m. (CT) | Live Stats| ESPN3
March 19 | at Evansville | 11 a.m. (CT) | Live Stats| ESPN3
|Additional Information||Twitter | Facebook|
- Loyola enters Missouri Valley Conference play with its most wins (16) heading into the league opener since joining the conference for the 2014 season. - After batting .311 as a team through the first 13 games of the season, the Ramblers have gone into a bit of a funk at the plate, hitting just .150 (25-for-167) over the last six contests, going 2-4 during that difficult stretch. - Loyola's pitchers have not allowed an earned run over the last 21 innings and have permitted just two walks over the last 19 innings.
The Purple Aces bring an 8-12 overall record into their Missouri Valley Conference opener this weekend. Evansville has won three of its last four games, including a 4-2 decision over Northern Illinois on Wednesday in its home opener. Picked sixth in the Preseason MVC Poll, Evansville went 12-14 in league play a year ago. Morgan Florey leads the Purple Aces with three home runs and 12 RBI and is batting .308 (16-for-52), but as a team UE is hitting just .229 this season. Florey is also the Aces' top pitcher and sports a 6-4 ledger with a 2.27 ERA and 88 strikeouts in 64.2 innings of work. Earlier this season, the Preseason All-MVC selection tossed Evansville's first no-hitter in 13 years, in a 3-2 victory over Creighton on February 19.
Youth is Served
Head coach Jeff Tylka's squad is tied for the 17th youngest team in NCAA Division I play this season as 12 of the Ramblers' 17 players are underclassmen, seven of whom are freshmen. Loyola's roster features just three seniors who were part of the last Loyola team to qualify for the Missouri Valley Conference Championship in 2014.
The Life of Kiley
Sophomore Kiley Jones has not succumbed to the proverbial sophomore jinx and is developing into a frontline starter. Over her last 14 appearances, the right-hander is 8-2 with two saves and a 0.45 ERA. She has struck out 48 batters in 73.1 innings over that stretch, allowing just 46 hits, nine earned runs and four extra-base hits. With a 9-2 overall record this season, Jones is just one win shy of matching her 2016 team-leading total (10).
Sophomore outfielder Jordyn Cordell is batting .350 (7-for-20) over the last six outings and that surge has improved her season batting average to .310 (18-for-58). She has recorded five two-hit games already this season, one shy of matching her total from all of 2016 (6).
Keenan Dolezal has been impressive so far this season, posting a 7-2 ledger with a 2.52 ERA. The sophomore right-hander, who won three games as a freshman, has allowed just two walks in her last nine appearances covering 33.2 innings. Over her last three appearances, Dolezal has surrendered just one earned run and no walks, while posting a 0.58 ERA in 12.0 innings of work.