Softball team splits doubleheaders over weekend


Jordan Gay

Jessica Wireman, a freshman, throws the ball to first base at the EIU vs. Jackson State softball game on Sunday at Williams field.

Sean Hastings, Staff Reporter

The Eastern softball team finished its weekend of doubleheaders at 2-2 against conference opponents Tennessee Tech and Jacksonville State.

The Panthers took a game against both teams because of pitching performances by freshmen pitchers Michelle Rogers and Jessica Wireman.

Eastern coach Angie Nicholson was very happy with how well both girls were able pitch.

“They’re doing great,” Nicholson said. “They’re throwing better and better every time they step out.”

Rogers believes with both pitchers pitching so well, it gives them and the team more confidence.

Rogers was on the mound in the first game against Tennessee Tech Saturday.

She pitched all seven innings giving up only one run, which was a solo home run by sophomore Alyssa Richards which was the only run scored in the game.

Rogers also allowed six hits and struck out four batters in the loss.

Sophomore Danielle Liberatore of Tennessee Tech was just too much for the Panthers in the game as she also pitched all seven innings allowing no runs, striking out 15 batters and allowing only two hits.

Game two on Saturday needed 10 innings to find a winner.

The Panthers came out on top winning the game, 3-2.

Sophomore Ashlynne Paul grounded to the pitcher for what looked like an inning-ending play, but the first baseman dropped the throw from the pitcher allowing junior Jennette Isaac to score the winning run.

Wireman pitched 10 innings in the second game Saturday and held the Golden Eagles scoreless until the seventh inning, where they tied the game at two.

In her 10 innings of work, Wireman struck out 11 batters, walked two and allowed just six hits.

With it being such a low scoring game, Wireman knew the importance of locating her pitches to get outs.

“They got up to 10 innings being able to see me pitch, so me hitting my spots was crucial,” Wireman said. “That was the only way I was going to get them out and get outs for the team.”

Nicholson said that getting a hard-fought win like this would give the team some more confidence going into Sunday’s games against Jacksonville State.

Rogers was back on the mound in game one for the Panthers against Jacksonville State.

She pitched all seven innings and was able to get the win Sunday.

Rogers allowed one run again giving the Panthers a 2-1 win.

In her seven innings, Rogers struck out five, walked four and allowed eight hits and seemed to have everything going for her especially her screwball.

“I felt relaxed and confident in myself and my team,” Rogers said.

The score could have been 3-2 in favor of the Gamecocks, but juniors Jennette Isaac and April Markowski both threw out runners at home to prevent them from scoring.

“(Markowski) and (Isaac) have been on the money all year with those shots,” Nicholson said.

She said that they are not only key outs but also momentum changers.

Leading the Panthers offensively in the game was senior Hannah Cole.

Cole hit a triple down the right-field line that drove in Markowski and Isaac, which were the winning runs for the Panthers.

The Panthers fell to Jacksonville State in game two, 5-1.

Despite losing the game, Nicholson does not think it was a bad game and it could have gone either way.

The lone run for the Panthers was scored by freshman Tori Johnson on a Markowski single.

The Panthers conference record is now 7-7.

Their next game will be against Ball State Tuesday in Muncie, Ind.


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