Eastern loses 3 more games, beats Appalachian State


File Photo

Eastern senior Mady Poulter stands at the plate in an Eastern win over Indiana State last season at Williams Field. The Eastern softball team is 4-14 to begin its season.

Tom O'Connor, Softball Reporter

Reeling off a string of nine losses, the worst such streak since the Panthers’ 12 consecutive defeats in 2012, Eastern softball seized its fourth win of the season on Saturday, only to lose to Lipscomb on Sunday for the Purple and Gold Challenge in Nashville.

Eastern junior Mia Davis knocked a ball over the fence in the fourth inning to signal what would be the winning runs, sending in senior Breya Cooper who, just as she had in the top of the first, singled on what was her second of three hits for the game.

For her first win, Eastern junior Jade Montgomery, pitching all seven innings, surrendered six hits through 26 batters and gave up Appalachian State’s lone run in the bottom of the second, when freshman Mary Pierce Barnes scored on sophomore Bailee Morton’s double.

Montgomery weathered a seventh inning in which the Mountaineers had the game-tying run on third base, after Megan Walker advanced to second on Keri White’s ground out and then stole third.

Earlier that afternoon, Eastern came out ahead with a 2-0 lead over Lipscomb in the first inning, when Megan Burton doubled to advance senior Mady Poulter for the first run.

Davis flied out to left field, enabling Burton to score for the Panthers’ second, and what would be its last, run for the game.

With the bases loaded in the bottom of the sixth, Eastern staved off Appalachian State’s efforts at the lead, but Montgomery closed out the inning, never giving up a hit the rest of the way.

On the opening day of the tournament, the Panthers were toppled first by Miami by a score of 3-1, and then, after coughing up just five runs, to Lipscomb 5-3.

Ashton Slone clobbered a ball to left center for a two-run home run, bringing in Hannah Obrey on the play.

Sophomores Mackenzie Moore and Morgan Lott doubled in the top of the sixth for the Redhawks’ final run on the game.

In the first game against Lipscomb, the Panthers ceded all five of the Bisons’ runs through the first three innings, capped by junior Hannah Devault’s home run to left field in the bottom of the third.

The Panthers’ scoring surge in the sixth, in which Davis hit a homerun, would not spill over into the seventh, as Lipscomb held Eastern to one hit.

Lipscomb sophomore Caitlin Turner secured her seventh win, while Montgomery fell to 0-8.

Tom O’Connor can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]