Panthers to play 2 makeup games against the Cougars


Sean Hastings

Junior Mady Pouter tosses the ball over to first base for the out in Eastern’s win in game one of its doubleheader with Southeast Missouri Thursday at Wednesday at Williams Field. Eastern has a doubleheader against Southern Illnois-Edwardsville scheduled for Tuesday.

Sean Hastings, Sports Editor

Playing makeup games has not been anything out of the ordinary for the Eastern softball team and Tuesday’s doubleheader against Southern Illinois-Edwardsville keeps that mini tradition alive.

After having the games postponed over a day in advance because of bad weather predicted for Sunday, the Panthers and the Cougars will try one more time to get the pair of OVC games in.

The Panthers lost their first OVC game of the year on Saturday after starting OVC play 6-0. Eastern came back in the second game and got back in the win column.

While Eastern has played just eight games, eight out of the 12 teams in the OVC have played at least 10. Southern Illinois-Edwardsville has had the same amount of bad luck as Eastern as it has only played eight games as well.

The 5-3 Cougars dropped both games of a doubleheader to Southeast Missouri Saturday, with their only other conference loss being a 1-0 game to Belmont.

One of the Cougars’ biggest problems this season has been at the plate. Southern Illinois-Edwardsville is second to last in RBIs and hits, only in front of Tennessee State, which has had a brutal go at the season sitting at 0-12 in OVC games and 3-38 overall.

Despite having driven in just 97 runs as a team and stringing together 199 total hits, the Cougars have managed to keep themselves in the race for an OVC Tournament spot.

And based off innings pitched, for pitchers who have pitched over 95 innings this season, senior pitchers Jessica Wireman and Michelle Rogers are in the top 10 for ERA.

While Wireman regularly strikes out batters with 145, which places here third in the OVC, Rogers does not strikeout nearly as many, but manages to deliver pitches that batters cannot get much of the barrel on.

“I just try to get ground balls and pop ups needed for my defense to make plays,” Rogers said. “I know if I don’t strike them out, my teammates have my back.”

Wireman holds a 1.79 ERA, making her second, while Rogers (2.66) is 10th among the group of pitchers who have taken on a large amount of innings this season.

And while Southern Illinois-Edwardsville is one of the worst offensive teams in the OVC, Eastern is among the best. The Panthers have driven in the third most runs with 169 and hold the best batting average in the OVC at .282.

All season coach Kim Schuette has been happy with how everyone on the team has found a way to contribute to the team’s wins.

Game one is set to start at 3 p.m. with game two following at 5 p.m.

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