Panthers win 1 of 5 games over the weekend


Jason Howell

Freshman pitcher Michelle Rogers throws out a pitch during a game against Iliinois Central College on Sept. 27 at Williams Field. The Panthers swept the doubleheader 6-1 and 3-2 against the Cougars.

Sean Hastings, Staff reporter

The Eastern softball team went 1-4 over the weekend at the Auburn Tiger Invitational in Auburn, Ala.

The lone win came in the first game against Winthrop University, 4-3.

Freshman Michelle Rogers pitched seven innings and allowed three runs, two of which were earned. She struck out seven batters and allowed only one walk.

It was a scoreless game until sophomore Ashlynne Paul came in to pinch-hit and hit an RBI single driving in junior April Markowski.

The Panthers would tack on three more with RBI’s coming from freshman Andrea Roberts, who drove in two, and senior Bailey O’Dell.

Winthrop scored three runs in the seventh inning and had a chance to take the lead, but Rogers got out of it to get the win for the Panthers.

Second year coach, Angie Nicholson was pleased with how Rogers pitched this weekend.

“There were times where Michelle Rogers pitched well and that was good to see,” Nicholson said.

She also liked how the outfield was doing a good job reading balls and making plays this weekend.

The Panthers would lose to Mercer University 6-4 in the second game on Friday.

Despite the loss, senior Hannah Cole homered twice giving her three runs batted in on the day.

Junior Jennette Isaac would add the final run in the seventh.

Freshman Jessica Wireman took the loss on the mound. Wireman went six innings giving up six runs on nine hits.

The Panthers lost, 7-6, in the third game of the weekend to Georgia State on a walk-off single.

Eastern had a 6-0 lead going into the bottom of the fifth where Georgia State got six runs of their own.

Rogers got the start and gave up five, on four hits. Wireman came in for relief and would take the loss.

O’Dell and Cole combined to drive in four of the Panthers’ runs in the game.

Sophomores Hannah Rachor and Amber Toenyes also got an RBI each.

But Nicholson thinks the hitting could be better.

“I would like to see our hitting be more explosive and consistent,” she said.

The Panthers took on No. 17 Auburn University in the next game, who came in at an undefeated 10-0.

Nicholson knew coming in they were going to face really good pitching, and they did.

Eastern was defeated, 9-1, in five innings.

Auburn run-ruled its opponents in eight out of the nine first games, which included a 20-8 victory over Georgia State. Mercer was the only team who hung around but still lost, 7-3.

The Panthers managed to bring one run across the plate in the fifth inning on an Isaac double. Junior Katie Watson scored from second on the play after getting a double of her own.

Junior Haylee Beck did not let the tough pitching faze her as she went 2-2 on the day.

The Panthers lost 4-3 to Ball State in the final game of the weekend.

Eastern led 3-1 in the bottom of the fifth, but Ball State tacked on three runs in the inning to take a 4-3 lead.

Cole added two more RBI’s to her total for the weekend.

Rogers got the start on the mound and gave up four, but only one was earned.

O’Dell said the team’s defense could have been better this weekend.

The Panthers are coming out of this weekend with a 3-7 record and will head to Kentucky for the Western Kentucky Hilltopper Spring Fling on Friday.

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