Wireman strikes out 27 as Panthers move to 8-2 in OVC

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Wireman strikes out 27 as Panthers move to 8-2 in OVC

Sean Hastings, Sports Editor

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It could not have been easy for junior pitcher Jessica Wireman, but she sure made it seem like it, with two complete game wins and a combined 23 strikeouts in those two starts. Wireman also struck out four in a two-inning save.

In her home state of Kentucky, Wireman gave the Panthers exactly what they needed to open the weekend against Morehead State with a 2-0 win. She pitched all seven innings to pick up the win and struck out 12.

The Panthers offense was silent until the fifth inning when they were able to put across two runs, including one on a wild pitch.

Wireman was called to the rescue in game two against Morehead State after the Golden Eagles had their way with starter Michelle Rogers. Rogers allowed four runs in 3.2 innings.

Freshman Allison Golic came in to slow down Morehead State and she gave up one run. Eastern’s offense came to life in the sixth and scored five times to regain the lead 6-4, giving Golic the win.

Sophomore Mady Poulter got the sixth-inning rally started with a single to score freshman Mia Davis. Junior Taylor Monahan finished off the five-run inning with a 2-RBI single to score sophomore Jennifer Ames and Poulter; both unearned.

Wireman shut the door in the sixth and the seventh to pick up the save and struck out four batters. Morehead State scored one in the seventh, but Eastern pulled out a 6-5 win.

Eastern was on its way to its third straight weekend sweep after a pair of wins against Morehead State on Friday and one win against Eastern Kentucky on Sunday, but the Panthers dropped the final game of the weekend to EKU 2-1.

The Panthers lost just their second game of OVC play and are still 8-2 in Ohio Valley Conference games. Their 8-2 record has them in second place behind 9-1 Jacksonville State.

The Gamecocks picked up two wins against Tennessee State on Sunday to be the OVC leader.

The Panthers will play Jacksonville State April 23 at Jacksonville State.

A year ago, this past weekend Wireman struck out 22 Eastern Kentucky batters. She did not strike out that many this year, but still hit double digits with 11 to give her 27 on the weekend.

She now has 121 strikeouts this season which has her in the top 10 in the OVC.

Everything was working for the Panthers in Wireman’s complete game against Eastern Kentucky. The Panthers came away with a 7-2 win in game one against the Colonels.

The Panthers scored in every inning but the fifth with freshman Haley Mitchell and junior Kiley Pelker driving in two runs.

Eastern will take a quick break from OVC play with a non-conference game against Butler on Tuesday on the road. The Panthers will be back at home Friday to take on Tennessee-Martin.

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