Eastern’s bats quiet in four losses


Sean Hastings

Senior shortstop Katie Watson throws the ball to first base for the out March 22. at Williams Field.

Sean Hastings, Sports Editor

The Eastern softball team went into the weekend with a perfect 3-0 record in Ohio Valley Conference play, but after a pair of shutouts, a 13-1 loss and a 5-1 loss, the Panthers now have a 3-4 record.

The Panthers went on a road trip down south to take on Jacksonville State and Tennessee Tech and came away without a win.

Eastern opened up the weekend in Jacksonville, Ala. to take on the Gamecocks, and they shut them out 4-0 in the first game and won big in the second game 13-1.

The Gamecocks took advantage of the long ball hitting three home runs to score all their runs, two of them coming in the first inning. Emily Church hit a two-run home run in the first inning and just two batters later Jamie McGuire hit one.

Whitney Gillespie homered in the third to make it 4-0, clinching the victory early in the game. Gillespie was also the starting pitcher for the Gamecocks. She went all seven innings to record the shutout. She also struck out seven Panthers’ hitters.

Sophomore pitcher Jessica Wireman was on the mound and took the loss, dropping her record to 7-14 on the year. Wireman went all six innings and was charged for all four runs the Gamecocks scored.

Wireman walked three and struck out two in her six innings of work.

Despite the struggles to score runs, senior April Markowski went 2-3 in the game with a pair of singles. She was the only Panther to have more than one hit.

The offensive struggles continued in the second game of the doubleheader with Jacksonville State as the Gamecocks downed the Panthers by a score of 13-1, run-ruling the Panthers in five innings.

Ella Denes was the story of this game going 2-2 with five runs batted in. Denes doubled down the left field line in the first inning sending in two runners. She would go on to hit a three-run home run in the very next inning making the game 13-0 after two innings.

Facing an improbable comeback in the fifth inning and a shut out, Markowski homered to left field to at least end Casey Akenberger’s shut out bid.

Sophomore pitcher Michelle Rogers was on the mound to start the game but would only last 1.1 innings as she gave up 10 runs on 10 hits. Rogers recently had a dominating performance against DePaul going all seven innings and allowing just one run in a 3-1 win for Eastern.

Junior Amber Toenyes came in for the last two outs of the inning but gave up three more runs before being replaced by Wireman for the final two innings.

Rogers did come back the next day against the Golden Eagles of Tennessee Tech in the second game of the doubleheader and went six innings allowing just one run, which came off a foul out that the runner tagged up on in the second inning.

She did still take the loss in the game; however, as the Panthers’ bats were quiet again getting shut out 1-0. She allowed just three hits in the game. She also struck out three batters.

The Panthers and Golden Eagles each only had three hits. Eastern was just not able to bring home runners who were in scoring position.

Senior first baseman Kylie Bennett doubled to lead off the second inning, but Markowski followed with a fly out, freshman second baseman Jennifer Ames grounded out moving Bennett to third, but junior Ashlynne Paul grounded out to end the inning.

Freshman designated hitter Maria DeVito also got herself into scoring position with less than two outs but could not be brought around to score.

Game one against Tennessee Tech did not go the Panthers way ending in a 5-1 loss. Eastern got the score tied up at one off a throwing error by the catcher trying to catch freshman left fielder Kayla Bear stealing, allowing senior left fielder Jennette Isaac to come in and score from third.

Bear was the Panthers’ leading hitter going 2-3 in the game.

Wireman took the loss on the mound going six innings, allowing five runs on six hits. She struck out three batters.

Eastern will be back in action this weekend at Murray State.


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