Softball wins 2 on 5-game road trip


Jason Howell

Senior catcher Hannah Cole swings at a pitch during a game against Central College.

Sean Hastings, Staff reporter

The Eastern softball team went 2-3 over the weekend after defeating Incarnate Word twice, losing to No. 9 Louisiana-Lafayette University twice and No. 19 Louisiana State University.

On Friday, the Panthers lost to LSU 6-1 after Panther freshman pitcher Jessica Wireman gave up six runs, but five were unearned after Eastern committed three errors.

She struck out two Tiger batters and only walked one.

The only Panthers run came off an RBI single from sophomore Hannah Rachor that drove in senior Bailey O’Dell. Both Rachor and O’Dell went 1-for-2 on the day.

In the second game of the weekend on Saturday, the Panthers fell to No. 9 Louisiana Lafayette 17-0 to drop their record to 0-2.

Michelle Rogers started the game for the Panthers and would take the loss.

Rogers gave up eight runs with only three being earned and would get two strikeouts and two walks.

The Panthers would take on Incarnate Word in the second game Saturday.

Sophomore Amber Toenyes led the way going 3-for-3 at the plate. She hit two, 2-run home runs in a 6-1 victory, improving the Panthers record to 1-2.

“Each game is an opportunity to bounce back,” O’Dell said.

Wireman pitched the entire game allowing one run, which was unearned, six strikeouts and two walks. She improved her record to 1-1.

Before the game, the team talked about how they were going to get ready for the next game after losing two straight.

“We talked mainly about staying focused and controlling what we can control,” Cole said. “We knew it was going to be a learning experience.”

In the first of two games on Sunday, the Panthers defeated Incarnate Word with the help of O’Dell and Cole as they hit back-to-back home runs in the second inning to give the Panthers a 7-4 win.

Rogers, who got the win, pitched 5 1/3 innings allowing three runs on nine hits.

She also struck out two and walked only one improving her record to 1-1 on the year.

Wireman would come in for the remaining 1 2/3 innings to get the save.

The Panthers would drop the final game of the weekend to Louisiana Lafayette 9-0.

Wireman was on the mound again and took the loss. She let up nine runs on 13 hits and walked three.

Despite the rough outing in the final game, Cole was impressed with the way Wireman didn’t let the pressure get to her.

“If she can keep that confidence and continue to work hard in games and practice, she will be a great success,” she said. “She has a lot of room to grow only being a freshman.”

Coach Angie Nicholson came in wanting to see if they would be able to handle adversity.

O’Dell said if someone messed up, there were 15 other girls there to pick them up every time.

Cole said her team figured out where they stand as a team compared to teams like Louisiana-Lafayette.

“We know that from this experience it will prepare us for conference where it really matters,” Cole said. “We just have to keep working hard no matter who we play.”

On Friday, the Panthers head to Auburn University to take on the No. 20 Tigers, Ball State, Mercer, Winthrop and Georgia State.

Sean Hastings can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].