Panthers travel to Butler for mid-week contest

Sean Hastings, Staff reporter

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The Eastern softball team heads into a mid-week game against Butler on a two-game win streak.

Freshman infielder Katie Watson passes the ball to Sophomore pitcher Hannah Rachor during the Eastern women’s softball game on April 4, 2015.

Chynna Miller
Freshman infielder Katie Watson passes the ball to Sophomore pitcher Hannah Rachor during the Eastern women’s softball game on April 4, 2015.

The Panthers are coming off two wins against conference opponent UT-Martin from the help of freshman Jessica Wireman, who tossed a no-hitter and allowed only two runs in the next game.

Wireman has a record of 7-10 on the year, and she has an ERA of 4.07 and 69 strikeouts.

Freshman Michelle Rogers has the top ERA on the team at 3.97. She has a record of 6-10.

UT-Martin came out on top in the first game, 8-4, but the Panthers came back and won the next two games, 3-0 and 4-2.

The Panthers are coming in with a 14-21 season record and a 9-8 conference record.

Butler comes in with a 16-22 season record and the team is 4-8 in its conference, but just like any team, the Panthers cannot look past them.

“Butler is a team that can sneak up on you fast,” Nicholson said. “They do not give up and they keep coming.”

Butler’s offense is led by Alex Kotter. She is batting .407 on the year with four home runs and 25 runs batted in.

Kristin Gutierrez is the Bulldog’s top pitcher with 114 innings pitched and a 3.25 ERA.

She also has 61 strikeouts compared to only 27 walks on the year.

Hannah Cole led the Panthers’ offense last weekend. Cole went 8-for-11 in the three games against UT Martin.

Cole also has the highest batting average on the team at .361.

Fellow senior Bailey O’Dell is right behind her with a .354 average and also leads the team with nine home runs and 31 RBI’s.

Nicholson wants the team to continue hitting well and get the timely hits like they did last weekend at UT Martin.

“I would like to get the entire lineup hitting the ball and hitting the ball hard and being a tough out at all times,” Nicholson said.

With Butler not being in the Panthers’ conference it can have a few positives that can come out of it.

The game will not affect the Panthers’ overall conference record, and it can also give them chances to look at a few different aspects of the game.

“Playing a non-conference game gives you an opportunity to do some things you would not normally take a risk on,” Nicholson said. “You challenge yourself and your players and see who is capable of what.”

The Panthers will be looking to continue their two-game win streak on Wednesday. The first pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m.

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