Softball team leads OVC in multiple categories

Sean Hastings, Sports Editor

Through the first 19 games, the Eastern softball team is at the top of eight offensive categories among OVC teams.

One thing that Eastern has been found to do particularly well throughout non-conference play is score runs. Junior Mady Poulter leads the OVC in runs scored with 18 and junior Kayla Bear is right behind her with 16.

As a team, Eastern has scored 99 runs this season, which is 15 more than Eastern Kentucky at 84.

Poulter also leads the OVC with four triples through the first 19 games. In 49 games played last season, Poulter did not hit a triple.

Without racking up hits, scoring runs is tough, but Eastern’s 143 hits leads the OVC by nearly 20. Bear is tied at the top of the OVC with Jacksonville State’s Taylor Beshears at 24.

At leadoff, Bear finds herself on base setting up the big bats behind her to dive her in. It comes as no surprise, as stealing bases has become Bear’s biggest asset to the team, but Bear has already stolen 10 bases.

Bear has only been caught stealing once this season.

Bear stole 30 bases in 2017 and was caught just twice.

With Bear and Poulter being on base and scoring runs, it has set up sophomore Haley Mitchell to drive them in. She leads the OVC with 24 RBI’s. Next up on the list is Austin Peay’s Danielle Liermann.

Mitchell drove in 33 runs all throughout the 2017 season as a freshman.

Eastern has driven in 88 runs as team and leads the league with 222 total bases.

The two key pieces to the team that Eastern has always had in its back pocket is the pitching abilities of seniors Jessica Wireman and Michelle Rogers. The two rack up near OVC leading innings each year and with a lights-out offense, helps them out.

Wireman leads the OVC in saves, but besides that the two find themselves in the top five in most pitching categories.

Rogers is second in the league with seven wins and Wireman is behind her with five.

OVC play does not start until March 24, and the Panthers have two more tournaments before then. Eastern started hot, but cooled down a bit last weekend where its 10-game win streak was snapped.

Eastern starts the Holy City Showdown Saturday with a double header against Wright State and Winthrop. The Panthers wrap up play with a double header against Furman and Charleston Southern Sunday.

Eastern also plays Charleston Southern Tuesday.

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