OVC teams in final stretch of games

Sean Hastings, Staff reporter

As the Eastern softball team and the rest of the Ohio Valley Conference teams head into the final stretch of six games of the conference schedule, Southern Illinois-Edwardsville sits atop the conference with a 16-4 record.

Jacksonville State (13-5), Murray State (14-7) round out the top three.

The top eight teams in the conference will make it to the OVC tournament hosted at the No. 1 seeded teams’ home field.

Tennessee-Martin (9-9) and Morehead State (8-8) sit in seventh and eighth and will be looking to hold on to those final spots. Southeast Missouri is still fighting to get the eighth and final spot with a record of 6-11.

UT Martin will have to be at their best as they are playing two top three teams in SIUE and Murray State in their final six games.

Morehead State will be taking on Tennessee State (2-17) who is last in the conference, and Tennessee Tech who sits in fifth place with a 13-8 record.

SEMO will also have a tough final stretch of games, as they will take on Eastern Illinois who has won four-straight conference games. They will also take on a 4-15 Austin Peay team.

For teams like Belmont (5-13), Austin Peay and Tennessee State, the door to the OVC tournament appears to be closing on them.

Those teams will have to hope they can win their final six games, and UT Martin and Morehead State lose theirs’.

Eastern Illinois is another team that is on the bubble with their 11-8 record sitting in sixth place in the conference. Eastern will be taking on SEMO and Edwardsville in three games each to finish off their season.

The Panthers have had everything clicking for them as of late. In their last four conference wins, they have outscored opponents 25-7.

Freshman pitcher Jessica Wireman has been shutting down teams in her last four appearances all resulting in wins. Wireman has only given up two runs in 25 innings pitched.

She also tossed a no-hitter against UT Martin April 11.

Eastern has two top 10 hitters for batting average in seniors’ Hannah Cole and Bailey O’Dell. Cole is hitting .374, and O’Dell is hitting .366.

Eastern Kentucky sits in fourth place right in front of Tennessee Tech.

Eastern Kentucky has won their last five conference matchups, and Tennessee Tech has lost two straight games both to Murray State.

Each team’s remaining six games will be a three game series against each opponent this coming weekend and then will finish the following weekend May 3-4.

The OVC tournament will begin Wednesday, May 6 and last until May 9, when the championship game will be played.

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