Panthers head to Kennesaw State Owl invitational

Sean Hastings, Staff Reporter

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The Eastern softball team will continue its non-conference schedule this weekend when the Panthers head to Kennesaw, GA for the Kennesaw State Owl Invitational.

The Panthers come into the weekend with a 4-8 record on the year and will look to improve that taking on Cleveland State University, Northern Kentucky University, Indiana University, and Kennesaw State University.

The first game will be on Saturday at 9 a.m. against head coach Angie Nicholson’s former team, Cleveland State.

Nicholson spent seven seasons as the head coach of the team

Cleveland State comes into the weekend with a 7-4 record.

The Panthers will be taking on a 0-6 Northern Kentucky team at 2 p.m. in their second game on Saturday. NKU has dealt with many cancellations to start their season.

Nicholson doesn’t know who is going to be on the mound starting, but said it will be between the ‘1-2 punch’ of freshmen Jessica Wireman and Michelle Rogers.

Wireman is now available after having to sit out two weeks ago due to an injury she sustained in practice. She was hit by a line drive in the side of her body.

Rogers is 3-3 and has a 3.56 ERA with 26 strikeouts in 41 1/3 innings pitched.

Wireman is 1-4 with a 4.75 ERA, striking out 13 batters in 28 innings.

The Panthers’ offense is led by seniors Hannah Cole and Bailey O’Dell who are both off to strong starts at the plate.

Cole is batting .375, and O’Dell is batting .351 along with a combined total of 15 RBIs.

The Panthers have not seen live action in two weeks.

“I don’t think it’s good,” Nicholson said. “Especially when you have to go back inside. I think if we were still able to go outside it wouldn’t be as bad.”

They have been working on things they know they need to improve on during their time off and also watched video to analyze what they are doing.

The Panthers will then play two more games on Sunday.

The first game will be against a 3-16 Indiana University at 9 a.m. The second game will be against Kennesaw State University at 1 p.m.

Kennesaw State has started the year 10-5. Nicholson said that Kennesaw is a solid team.

“They can do a little bit of everything well,” she said.

Nicholson said she would like to see a little bit more from junior Jennette Isaac this weekend. 

“She’d be huge for us,” Nichoslson said. “She’s our leadoff batter, and she sets the tone. She’s been struggling to get on base for us, so we’d love to see that.”

She would also like to see a little bit more leadership this weekend.

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