Bennett, Markowski homer in 4-3 win in series opener


Sean Hastings

Senior first baseman Kylie Bennett shined on senior day hitting two home runs in game one, breaking the single-season home run record.

Sean Hastings, Sports Editor

The Eastern softball team continued its Ohio Valley Conference dominance with a win against Southeast Missouri Saturday afternoon at Williams Field.

The Panthers and the Redhawks were originally set to play a doubleheader, but severe weather resulted in the second game being canceled.

Eastern improved to 16-7 in OVC games, improving its chances to secure the No. 2 seed for the tournament beginning Wednesday. The Panthers are in a battle for second with Eastern Kentucky for the spot. The Colonels lost to Tennessee Tech in the first game of a doubleheader Saturday.

Freshman Kayla Bear got the Panthers on the board first in the third inning with a single to right field driving in junior Ashlynne Paul.

Senior Kylie Bennett hit a home run to lead off the fourth inning and Paul followed up later in the inning with a single to drive in senior April Markowski.

“Every home run feels great,” Bennett said. “But with all the emotion this weekend it was a little sigh of relief.”

Sophomore Jessica Wireman got the start in the circle for the Panthers improving to 16-17 on the year. Wireman went seven innings and allowed three runs, with only two of them being earned.

The Panthers’ sophomore shut down the Redhawks for five innings, but an error by Paul on a dropped third strike allowed Darby Pruett to reach safely. Pruett would go on to score later in the inning.

The Redhawks got the game tied up with a two-run home run by Brittany Stevens in the sixth inning.

Markowski answered that with a home run of her own in the bottom half of the inning to give the Panthers a 4-3 lead, and win. Markowski, Bennett and Paul each went 2-3 in the game.

“It felt great to graduate and for me and Benny (Bennett) to hit two homers,” Markowski said.

It is senior weekend for the five seniors on the Eastern softball team, and the five seniors will be honored Sunday afternoon.

The Panthers have been on a hot-streak as of late, and Bennett and Markowski both said the team needs to stay confident and keep doing what they are doing.

“As long as we keep our confidence and play together, we will be unstoppable,” Bennett said.


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