Panthers set for three games with UT Martin

Sean Hastings, Staff Reporter

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After dropping both games of a non-conference double header the Eastern softball team will get back to their conference schedule starting with three games against UT Martin in Martin, Tenn.

The Panthers’ season record currently stands at 7-7 with a 12-20 overall season record.

The 7-7 record has the Panthers in sixth place in the conference. UT Martin sits one spot ahead of them in fifth with an 8-5 record.

Despite the losses to Ball State, junior April Markowski doesn’t believe it was all bad and can help them with the upcoming games.

“I don’t think we left Ball State necessarily on a bad note,” she said. “Yes, we lost but I think we know what we did wrong and know exactly how to fix it. So it is important to go into this weekend with a positive attitude.”

A reason why the Panthers have lost their three straight games is their hitting.

Freshmen pitchers Jessica Wireman and Michelle Rogers have given the Panthers good outings and a chance to win, and Markowski knows they need to start supporting them if they want to beat UT Martin.

“We will definitely need to get our hitting back and hit like we know how,” Markowski said. “Our pitchers have been doing great, we just need to hit now.

Leading the Panthers offensively, as she has all season, is senior Bailey O’Dell. O’Dell has struggled a bit of late but still has a batting average of .363.

Fellow senior Kenzi Tate leads the Skyhawks offense with a .369 batting average.

Both hitters are in the top 10 for batting average in the Ohio Valley Conference. Tate is eighth in the conference, and O’Dell is 10th.

Eastern coach Angie Nicholson expects to keep the same pitching rotation of Rogers starting game one, and Wireman pitching the next game.

Rogers has an earned run average of 3.65 contributing to her record of 6-9. She has pitched 94 innings on the year in 22 appearances.

Wireman has an earned of 4.53 with a record of 5-10 on the year in 88 innings pitched. She has also appeared in 22 games for the Panthers.

Sophomore Elizabeth Wiegand is the leading pitcher for the Skyhawks with a 2.88 ERA and a 10-5 record. She has 44 strikeouts in 94 2/3 innings pitched.

Wiegand has the ninth best ERA in the conference and Rogers have the 13th and 16th best respectively.

The Panthers will begin their three games with UT Martin starting Saturdaywith the first pitch scheduled for 1 p.m. Game two will follow at 3 p.m.

The final game will be played on Sunday at 1 p.m.

 

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