Panthers finally come home

Sean Hastings, Staff Reporter

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The Eastern softball team will host Murray State Sunday and Monday for its first home series of the season.

The Panthers have played 23 straight games away from Williams Field, and come in with an 8-15 season record and 3-4 conference record.

This is the first action at Williams Field since the fall, because the weather has kept the Panthers practicing inside for much of the year.

The Panthers are coming off a big comeback win against conference rival Morehead State last Sunday and two wins against conference opponent Austin Peay, and they will look to keep that momentum rolling into the conference games this weekend.

“We need to carry the success from last game onto these next games and keep that confidence up with hitting and pitching,” senior Bailey O’Dell said.

Originally they were set to play two games against Murray State on Saturday, and one game on Sunday. Due to the cold weather, the games have been moved to Sunday and Monday.

All of the players on the team are very excited to finally play on their own home turf.

“Home games are a lot more exciting in my opinion,” O’Dell said. “The whole atmosphere is different, and as a player you feed off that and have a different mindset because it’s your field and your fans there supporting you.”

Besides finally being able to play games at Williams Field for the first time since the fall season, they are also glad that the games got pushed back a day.

“We are all super excited,” junior April Markowski said. “Especially since we pushed it back to the warmer days.”

The Panthers bats were alive last weekend helping them get the three victories and will have to be even better this weekend to beat a solid Murray State team.

The Racers come in with a 17-10 season record and a 4-3 record in conference and are riding on a three conference game win streak with two wins against Tennessee State, and one against Southern Illinois.

O’Dell remembers back to last year how one hit can change a game against the Racers.

“Well from last year, I can tell you they can hit,” O’Dell said. “So when we score, we can’t settle for being ahead by one or two runs because one hit can really change the game and last year proved that.”

One thing the Panthers need to improve a little is driving in runners that get on base more often.

“I think a big improvement would be consistent at bats and getting the job done like not leaving as many runners on base,” Markowski said.

First pitch for Sunday’s first game is scheduled for 1 p.m. with game two following right after at 3 p.m. Monday’s game is schedule to start at 2 p.m.

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