Softball once again canceled

Sean Hastings, Sports Editor

The rain just won’t go away for the Eastern softball team. The Panthers’ three original games for this weekend have been rained out. Eastern had a doubleheader at Evansville rained out Wednesday.

The Panthers were supposed to head to Cape Girardeau to play in the Southeast games tournament. Eastern was set to play Ohio Valley Conference rival and tournament host Southeast Missouri and Bradley.

The games were canceled due to the predictions of the amount of rain expected and has already began to fall in the area. Cape Girardeau and Charleston are both expected to get two to three inches of rain from Thursday to Saturday.

Coach Angie Nicholson and her assistants are currently finding additional mid-week games for the Panthers to play to make up for the five games canceled this week.

As of right now, the Panthers are still set to play a Wednesday doubleheader against Indiana-Purdue University Fort Wayne. Eastern is also scheduled to play Bradley University in Peoria Monday.

IPFW will be the Panthers’ final games before their OVC portion of their schedule gets underway.

Eastern will have had eight days off if they end up playing Bradley in Peoria on Monday. Eastern’s is currently on an eight-game losing streak with their last loss coming to Kansas by a score of 7-1 Sunday.

The recent cancellations have made the Panthers a little frustrated, senior outfielder April Markowski said.

“Of course we are mad, we love playing,” Markowski said. “But more practice will of course help us. With that being said more games would be helpful especially with conference games coming up, it’s nice to see live pitching and other situations.”

The Panthers have been limited to playing in Lantz Fieldhouse because of the cold weather just a few weeks ago, and now the consistent rain.

Although the Panthers have really struggled to get back into the win column, Markowski isn’t too focused on the wins and losses at this point in the season.

“I mean I personally do not pay attention to wins and loses especially in preseason,” Markowski said. “But I think it is going to take us figuring out how to get out of this funk we are in so we can start stringing hits together like we know how to.”

The current eight-game losing streak is unlike the Eastern softball team. The team’s longest losing streak last year was just five games.

Due to the losing streak, the Panthers have been trying to get a little bit more energy as the conference games get closer, and when the games start to count towards their OVC record. Which is what will get them a berth to the OVC tournament this season.

“Coach also gives some pretty good speeches almost every day that really fires us up,” Markowski said. “Hopefully everything will click by conference next weekend and we will be able to dominate.”

It was also announced Thursday that the OVC tournament will be played at a neutral site in Oxford, Ala. for the next two years. This is the 23rd year for the OVC Softball Championships. In the previous 22 seasons, the tournament was held on the campus of the team with the No. 1 seed for the tournament.


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