Eastern traveling to Eastern Kentucky

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Eastern traveling to Eastern Kentucky

Junior Taylor Monahan lays down a bunt in the Panthers win against Tennessee State Sunday. She is second on the team in stolen bases.

Junior Taylor Monahan lays down a bunt in the Panthers win against Tennessee State Sunday. She is second on the team in stolen bases.

Sean Hastings

Junior Taylor Monahan lays down a bunt in the Panthers win against Tennessee State Sunday. She is second on the team in stolen bases.

Sean Hastings

Sean Hastings

Junior Taylor Monahan lays down a bunt in the Panthers win against Tennessee State Sunday. She is second on the team in stolen bases.

Sean Hastings, Sports Editor

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Last year when Eastern played Eastern Kentucky in the regular season, the two starting pitchers combined for 25 strikeouts and the Panthers won on a walk-off bunt.

Eastern and the Colonels had one of the wildest game with a story that could not even be written. It was the ultimate pitcher’s dual between then sophomore Jessica Wireman and Hayley Flynn.

Eastern came away with a 1-0 win…on a walk-off suicide squeeze in the 12th inning by Ashlynne Paul. Wireman struck out 22 batters in 12 innings pitched, and Flynn sent down 23 Panthers. Alex Sallberg pitched one inning for the Colonels and yielded the winning run. She also had a strikeout.

The Panthers strung together six hits in the game, but never found a way to score a run. A shutout this weekend? Possible. A combined 26 strikeouts in a game? Probably can rule that one out.

And that can stand true as in the next game that weekend the Panthers won 7-3 and the two teams combined for a whopping six strikeouts.

Well, this year the Panthers will not have to worry about Flynn. The Ohio native senior graduated in the spring.

Eastern Kentucky was not let off the hook so easy, however. Wireman is back this year and is pitching just as good,if not better. Her ERA speaks for that.

Through this part of the OVC portion of the schedule last season her ERA was above for. She is sitting at 2.61 and with a hot offense to back her up.

The Panthers’ time at home was short-lived, and they came away with three wins. They were instantly tested with a six-game OVC road trip, with the seventh game being non-conference.

But the Panthers started off the road trip 2-0 with wins against Southeast Missouri and will be tested with Morehead State Saturday for two games and Eastern Kentucky Sunday for two more.

Morehead State is 3-3 and Eastern Kentucky is 3-2.

The Panthers played the Golden Eagles and Colonels in the OVC tournament. Eastern cruised past Morehead State in the first round 7-0 despite not playing each other in the regular season. Both games were rained out. Eastern lost to Eastern Kentucky in their second game 6-4.

A clean 4-0 sweep over the weekend will have the Panthers at 9-1 and in very good position in the OVC standings and even two losses will have the Panthers at 7-3, which would be a good record to come out of the road trip with.

The Panthers’ chance to continue their five-game win streak will begin at 11 a.m. Friday with the second game following at 1 p.m. Sunday’s games are set for 12 p.m. and 2 p.m.

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