Softball team goes 1-3 over weekend


Sean Hastings

Freshman Megan Burton connects on a pitch in Eastern’s game two loss to Jacksonville State Sunday at Williams Field. The Panthers went 1-3 this weekend against Tennessee Tech and Jacksonville State.

Sean Hastings, Sports Editor


Coach Kim Schuette said after Southern Illinois-Edwardsville walked off on Eastern twice on Tuesday that the mistakes it made turned out costly. 

And Tuesday, a few more mistakes piled on and the Panthers lost two games late once again Sunday against Jacksonville State at Williams Field. 

The Panthers lost game one 5-2 after the Gamecocks strung together three runs in the top of the seventh and game two was a wild ride until the end where Eastern lost 10-9.

Eastern scored four runs in the bottom of the first, but Jacksonville State came back in the top of the second and shelled the Panthers for seven runs. 

All of those runs came with two outs. Eastern had a chance to end the inning unscathed, but freshman Megan Burton’s throw pulled junior Mady Poulter off second base where Eastern tried for a force out. 

Jacksonville State scored all seven runs after the throwing error. 

“We made some bonehead plays that handed them a run here and there,” Schuette said. “Then at the end of the ballgame, you think back ‘I wish we wouldn’t have.’”

Eastern came back and tied the game at seven in the bottom half, but Jacksonville State scored three in the top of the sixth after the Panthers took the lead in the fourth off sophomore Mia Davis’ single and Kendyl McKeough’s sac fly. 

The Gamecocks escaped with a 10-9 win, but having scored nine runs will help the Panthers’ mindset knowing that if they clean up a few mistakes, they will get back on top, Schuette said. 

“You have to focus on the little things, keep your confidence and keep playing ball,” she said. “On paper we look good, but we’ve lost some real close games. We’ve just been on the wrong side of things, but you can’t let that hurt too bad.”

She said it would be one thing if they are losing by five or six runs, but lately when Eastern loses, it happens late and it has been close. 

Besides Saturday where Eastern lost big to Tennessee Tech 7-1 in game two of that doubleheader, Eastern has been right with each team until the end when things have fallen apart. 

And even in game one of the doubleheader with Tennessee Tech Saturday, where the Panthers won, they almost blew that game too. 

The Golden Eagles scored twice in the seventh inning to tie the game, but with two outs in the seventh, Davis hit double off the wall to score sophomore Ashley Bartlett from first, who was pinch running for sophomore Haley Mitchell who singled right before for the 5-4 win.

“(The team) fought (Saturday) and were able to get the walk-off win instead of being on the other side of it,” Schuette said. “That felt good and (Sunday) was anybody’s ballgame and unfortunately (Jacksonville State) got the hit when they needed it and we didn’t.” 

Eastern’s record dropped to 8-6 in OVC play after going 1-3 over the weekend. 

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