Three-run seventh downs Panthers

Sean Hastings, Sports Editor

A windy day at Williams Field limited the amount of offense coming from the Eastern softball team and the Butler Bulldogs. The Bulldogs had just five hits heading into the seventh inning, but a four-hit, three-run inning gave the Bulldogs a 3-0 win Tuesday.

The Panthers and the Bulldogs were originally scheduled to play a doubleheader but the high winds resulted in the second game being canceled.

Eastern was only able to get two hits in the game. Both hits came in the second inning.

The Panthers weren’t able to get a string of hits going, and coach Angie Nicholson said she was not happy with how the team played against Butler.

Sophomore pitcher Michelle Rogers got to start for the Panthers and was solid up until the seventh inning. Sophomore pitcher Jessica Wireman was in the game when the runs scored, but both runs were charged to Rogers.

Wireman gave up a single when she came in, and the Bulldogs also perfected a squeeze play to bring in the second run. Rogers allowed both runners to reach base.

The third run was charged to Wireman.

Rogers went 6.1 innings, allowing seven hits and striking out seven batters. Rogers got herself into some trouble throughout the game, but managed to get out of it each inning.

She got out of a bases loaded jam in the fifth inning and got out of a first and second situation in the sixth inning.

Rogers’ seven strikeouts Tuesday gave her 29 on the season in 59 innings pitched. Her record falls to 1-4 with the loss and brings her earned run average to 5.58.

“Michelle (Rogers) did a good job,” Nicholson said. “She got us all the way into the seventh. That was good for her. That was the thing I liked the most today.”

Senior first baseman Kylie Bennett got one of the hits for the Panthers and senior outfielder April Markowski got the other. Bennett went 1-2 with a walk and Markowski went 1-3.

Tuesday’s wind was blowing in from left field, causing any fly ball to hang up in the air. Eastern had eight fly outs in the game, a number that was too high, Nicholson said.

“We’ve got to hit,” Nicholson said. “We knew the wind was going to be a factor. You’ve got to make adjustments to what’s given to you based on their surface, or what they’re giving you, and the weather.”

The Panthers talked about how the wind was going to play a factor and how they could not hit the ball in the air and be successful on a day like Tuesday, Nicholson said.

The wind stopped any ball from getting any carry on it during the game, resulting in some easy plays for both the Bulldogs and the Panthers.

Eastern’s overall record drops to 8-16 on the season, but they do remain perfect in OVC play. Butler does not play in the Ohio Valley Conference.

Eastern will not have a day off before they are back at Williams Field for a non-conference doubleheader against DePaul.

The first pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m. with the second game following at 5 p.m.

DePaul will come into Eastern fresh off a 6-4 win against Saint Louis. They struggled early on this season with a 7-19 record.

Markowski said it is great to have the midweek non-conference games before they play their OVC games on the weekend. She said it gives them another opportunity to get in a live situation to prepare for the OVC games.

Eastern will be taking on Jacksonville State Saturday and Sunday in Jacksonville, Ala.


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