Softball ready for weekend games at Auburn

Sean Hastings, Staff reporter

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The Eastern softball team will face its third ranked team in a week as it faces No. 17 Auburn in one of five games this weekend.

The Panthers are coming in with a 2-3 record after competing at the Louisiana-Lafayette Classic last weekend.

The Panthers will be taking on Winthrop University at 9:45 a.m., and Mercer University at 2:30 p.m. in a double-header on Friday.

Then on Saturday they will take on Georgia State University at noon and Auburn at 5:15 p.m.

The Panthers will wrap up their weekend with one game on Sunday against Ball State University at 9:45 a.m.

All of the games the Panthers play over the weekend will be in Auburn, Ala. on the campus of Auburn University.

When the Panthers go against Auburn, Nicholson said they are going to face some good pitching.

“Going against Auburn we’re going to face fantastic pitching, there’s no doubt about that,” she said. “But with all of the other schools, I feel like I’d really like to see our offense really explode.”

Auburn is another elite competitor just like last weekends games when the Panthers took on Louisiana State University and Louisiana Lafayette.

In the six games that Auburn played last weekend, they 10-run ruled every team they faced.

But the other teams that they will face off against, Nicholson considers them to be on their level.

“It’s going to be a good comparison for us to see where we really stand,” she said.

Sophomore Amber Toenyes and senior Bailey O’Dell led the Panthers offense last weekend both hitting .462 and will look to continue that this weekend.

Toenyes had eight hits with two being homeruns, and O’Dell had six hits and also added one homerun.

Overall for this weekend head coach Angie Nicholson is looking for the team to improve a little bit defensively.

“I’d like us to clean our game up defensively,” Nicholson said. “I’d like to see us play a lot more aggressively on defense and make the plays that need to be made.”

She said that last weekend, they allowed to many hitters to get on base, but there were also times that the teams just hit the ball hard into the gaps and there was nothing they could do about it.

Nicholson isn’t sure who is going to pitch the first game against Winthrop for the Panthers, but said it is between freshmen Jessica Wireman and Michelle Rogers, and whichever one doesn’t pitch the first game will get the next game.

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