Panthers set for game against SIU-C

Sean Hastings, Staff reporter

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The Eastern softball team will take on Southern Illinois-Carbondale in a non-conference game on Wednesday before finishing up their conference schedule and regular season this weekend.

The Panthers are coming in with a 17-24 record overall and a 12-10 conference record.

Southern Illinois has a 19-23-1 record on the year with a 13-10 conference record.

Southern Illinois has won five of their last six games following a win against Indiana State on Sunday.

Senior Katie Bertelsen has the top earned-run average for the Salukis at 4.23. She also has a 16-13 record on the year and has appeared in 34 games.

The Panthers are back home after a weekend series against Southeast Missouri in Cape Girardeau, Mo.

The Panthers went 1-2 over the three games and will look to use this game to get things back on track and be ready for Southern Illinois-Edwardsville this weekend.

Eastern has a couple of its biggest games set for this weekend as each one could play a factor in seeding for the tournament, so the team will have to take advantage of this game to get practice in.

“With it really not meaning anything, I’m hoping that some people can use it to clean things up,” Eastern coach Angie Nicholson said. “I’m also hoping to give some other people different looks and see what they’re capable of.”

As of late, freshman pitcher Michelle Rogers has struggled a little bit on the mound, and Nicholson said she is looking for Rogers to use this game to get back to the level she can pitch.

“Michelle needs to feel good about throwing on the mound,” Nicholson said. “She’s not been in a really good place lately and I’m hoping she uses tomorrow to go into the weekend feeling a little differently.”

Rogers will be the starting pitcher for the Panthers.

Rogers has a 4.64 earned run average with a 6-12 record. She has also pitched 102 2/3 innings and has 57 strikeouts.

Nicholson would also like to see senior Bailey O’Dell get back to her usual hitting form as she struggled at the plate this past weekend at Southeast Missouri.

O’Dell was 1-6 to start the weekend but in the final game went 2-4 with three runs batted in.

O’Dell currently has a .361 batting average this year and has also driven in 37 runs. She leads the team in that category.

“There’s a lot of us that need to get some ‘feel goods’ in us and use them tomorrow,” Nicholson said.

Nicholson said freshman Andrea Roberts injured her arm the other day, but she will still be available to run and bunt as of right now.

The first pitch for Wednesday’s game is set for 4 p.m. at Williams Field.

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