Rogers unfazed by long weekend

Jehad Abbed, Assistant Sports Editor

Eastern softball freshman pitcher Michelle Rogers threw two complete games over the weekend picking up a win while allowing just 2 runs between Tennessee Tech and Jacksonville State.

Eastern went into the weekend scheduled to play double-headers on Saturday and Sunday with Rogers starting with the ball in her hand in two of the four games.

She ended her weekend racking up 205 pitches combined through 14 innings between the two games. She was 1-1 for the weekend losing to Tennessee Tech, but achieved a 2-1 victory over Jacksonville.

A 4th-inning solo homerun from freshman catcher Alyssa Richards was the deciding factor in Rogers’ loss Saturday to Tennessee Tech.

The Panthers lost 1-0  to the Golden Eagles in what seemed to be a pitcher’s duel between Rogers and freshman Danielle Liberatore.

“Some of my pitches were moving well. Just hitting my spots,” Rogers said. “I wasn’t getting a lot of calls, but I was still hitting my spots, which is the big part.”

Rogers struck out four Tennessee Tech batters while walking only one and allowed six hits for the game. She said her screwball was working really well along with her drop curveball.

Liberatore managed to throw a 2-hit shutout while striking out 15 against the Panthers in seven innings pitched.

Rogers said she was not terribly upset by the 1-0 loss, despite how well she performed.

“It can be frustrating,” she said. “But everyone was trying so I can’t be too mad.”

Rogers was able to pick up where she left off when she started at pitcher again against the Gamecocks on Sunday. She said she can be sore sometimes, but is now used to pitching back-to-back days on weekends.

“I just try to focus on what I did right, and try to repeat it,” Rogers said.

She struck out five Jacksonville State batters while throwing 111 in the Panthers’ 2-1 victory giving Rogers her 6th win on the season.

Senior catcher Hannah Cole hit a triple down the rightfield line in the 6th inning scoring junior outfielders Jennette Isaac and April Markowski to give rogers the offensive support she needed for the win.

Rogers said she usually does not expect to pitch two complete games over the weekend, but her and fellow freshman pitcher Jessica Wireman usually split the starts.

She prepares for games by trying to think about what she worked on in practice and making sure to use it while pitching.

“I just tried to slow down and really focus on hitting my spots,” Rogers said. “Knowing its okay because my team has my back.”

Rogers looks back on successful outings like this past weekend and tries to repeat the things she feels she did right for future starts.

Rogers is 6-9 so far in her first season at Eastern boasting a 3.65 ERA in 94 innings pitched.


Jehad Abbed can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]