Panthers wrap up home stand with Austin Peay


Lauren McQueen

Freshman Mady Poulter attempts to tag an Eastern Kentucky runner out at first base during the Panthers’ game on Saturday at Williams Field. The Panthers won the game, 1-0.

Sean Hastings, Sports Editor

After coming off its biggest pair of wins of the season, the Eastern softball team will return home to take on the struggling Austin Peay Governors.

Eastern defeated Eastern Kentucky in both games last weekend at Williams Field and had both games against Morehead State canceled due to the rain.

The Governors have not been able to get wins in Ohio Valley Conference play as they have a 2-12 record and find themselves at the bottom of the OVC standings. Eastern is 5-0 in OVC play at home, making it that much more difficult for Austin Peay to come in and get a win in the three-game series.

While Austin Peay may be struggling to get some games in the win column, they do have a couple of players on the team that can hit. Kacy Acree leads the team with a .388 batting average with 16 runs driven in.

Danielle Liermann has a .363 batting average and also leads the team in at-bats and hits. She also has a commanding lead for RBIs with 29.

The pitchers this season have struggled a bit for the Governors. Autumn Hanners has seen the most action in the circle for Austin Peay with 73 innings pitched. She also holds an ERA of 4.03 but has a 3-11 record.

Sidney Hooper and Natalie Ayala have not won a game yet as they are 0-8 and 0-6, respectively. Allie Blackwood has only pitched 13.2 innings this season but she is the only pitcher with a winning record. She is 2-0.

Sophomore pitchers Jessica Wireman and Michelle Rogers each got a win last weekend against Eastern Kentucky. Wireman has an ERA of 3.53 and Rogers’ ERA is 5.27.

Wireman has handled a majority of the workload with 139 innings pitched, but Rogers has pitched 86.1 innings. The two have combined to strike out 169 batters.

Senior outfielder April Markowski has been on a strong hitting stretch of late jumping her batting average to .293 to lead the team. Senior shortstop Katie Watson is hitting .275.

If the season was to end today, Eastern would have a spot in the OVC tournament in Oxford, Ala., but are barely hanging on as they have the No. 8 spot. These games against a team who barely has a chance to make the tournament are important for the Panthers.

Southeast Missouri is right behind the 6-6 Panthers with a 6-8 record. Southeast Missouri will be taking on Tennessee-Martin in a three-game series. Tennessee-Martin is 7-7 and in fifth place in the standings.

Every win for Eastern can make all the difference in the tight race to get a spot in the OVC tournament May 11-14.

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