Eastern’s doubleheader against Murray State moved to Friday

Sean Hastings, Sports Editor


Six straight games have been canceled for the Eastern softball team, and Friday has the potential to make it eight straight.

Eastern moved up its doubleheader with Murray State to Friday to avoid the weather Saturday, but more rain is in the forecast for Friday.

The Panthers were supposed to play a seven-game home stand, but three of those have already been washed out.

The weather was not much better last weekend in Tennessee or Alabama, as the Panthers’ doubleheaders with Tennessee Tech and Jacksonville State were rained out.

Murray State will be in town Friday for two games and Austin Peay will play Eastern Sunday.

With the last six games rained out for the Panthers, it has been over a week since Eastern last played, not including Wednesday’s rain out against IUPUI in the third inning.

It will also make it two weeks since the last time the Panthers played an OVC game. Now, still near the top of the conference and with four games with no make up date scheduled, staying in game mode has been important for Eastern.

The OVC tournament is fast approaching, but Eastern has stayed ready.

“We’ve spent a lot of time focusing on live hitting and getting live at bats off our pitchers,” sophomore Maria DeVito said. “We’ve also focused on defensive situations to make sure we are prepared for games.”

The Panthers have been scrimmaging each other. And with the hitters getting live action of two of the OVC’s top pitchers, juniors Jessica Wireman and Michelle Rogers, it is hard to go against anyone better.

Wireman and Rogers both have ERAs in the top 10 in the OVC; Wireman’s is 2.15 and Rogers’ ERA is 2.67. Both pitchers have winning records.

At the plate for the Panthers, junior Taylor Monahan is Eastern’s top hitter with a .372 batting average, as well as being a threat on the bases, swiping 27 bases on 33 attempts.

Sophomore Kayla Bear leads the team with 29 steals on 31 attempts. She started the season a perfect 29-29, but has since been thrown out on back-to-back attempts.

Senior Amber Toenyes and freshman Haley Mitchell each have 27 RBIs to lead the team in that category.

Toenyes has eight home runs this season and is four shy of tying the single-season home run record of 12, set by Kylie Bennett last season.

Toenyes’ most notable home run came against Belmont earlier this season when she sent a go-ahead home run over the fence in the sixth inning.

Even though the Panthers are in second place in the OVC, just as how the stats go, the Panthers have not paid too much attention to their record.

“We try not to focus on our record or who we play, but more so going out and executing our goals each game and playing together as one,” DeVito said.

If Eastern gets these games in, it will have only one more OVC weekend before the tournament.

The Panthers have played the least amount of games out of all the OVC teams. Eastern has played 12, but most have at least 15.

Friday’s first game against Murray State is set to start at noon.

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