Softball team picks up 5 wins, 5 losses in USF Series


File Photo

Haley Mitchell swings at a pitch in her at-bat during Eastern’s 2-0 win over Indiana State at Williams Field in April 2018. Eastern’s softball team went 5-5 over a 10-game stretch.

JJ Bullock, Sports Editor

The Eastern softball team doubled its win total on the season in the USF Series, going 5-5 over 10 games, upping its season win count from four to nine.

Eastern picked up consecutive wins over Buffalo and Seton Hall on Friday to close the tournament with an even 5-5 record, marking the second time all season Eastern won back to back games.

The Panthers put together a four-run sixth inning to give themselves a lift over Seton Hall. Morgan Lamore, Kendyl McKeough, Mady Poulter and Hannah Cravens drove in the four runs for Eastern.

The RBI for McKeough put her in a tie for the team lead with 19 this season.

Tied with McKeough for the team lead is Mia Davis, who tallied three RBIs in the win over Buffalo to put herself in that position.

The back-to-back wins over Buffalo and Seton Hall was the second time Eastern won consecutive games this season; the first time also came in the USF series just a few days prior when Eastern beat Colgate on March 10 and Quinnpiac on March 12.

Eastern smacked Colgate to the tune of a 13-4 beatdown in which Davis put together another three RBI performance. Breya Cooper and Haley Mitchell each added two RBIs and six other Panthers; each had one as Eastern piled on Colgate’s pitcher Bella Crow for 10 earned runs over 5.2 innings pitched.

Not to be outdone by Davis, McKeough logged all four RBIs in the Panthers’ 4-0 win over Quinnpiac, hitting a grand slam in the third inning.

Jade Montgomery threw a complete game shutout for the Panthers in the win, striking out five batters and surrendering just four hits.

The win over Quinnpiac led the Panthers into a three-game losing streak, which included a 1-0 loss to Quinnpiac.

Eastern followed that up with losses to Chattanooga and North Dakota State.

Eastern fell to Chattanooga for the second time this season, this time coming in a 9-1 loss where Montgomery was not quite as solid on the mound. Montgomery picked up her 10th loss of the season, giving up six runs in 2.1 innings pitched.

Montgomery’s season ERA is now at 5.09.

Errors killed Eastern in its 7-5 loss to North Dakota State as just two of the Bisons’ runs came as earned. Errors in the third and fourth innings gave North Dakota State the decisive runs they would need to win.

The USF Series wraps up non-conference play for the Panthers who finished their non-conference schedule with a 9-19 record, the second worst in the Ohio Valley Conference.

Eastern opens conference play Friday with a home doubleheader against Murray State and continues OVC play on Sunday with two games against Austin Peay, also at Williams Field.

JJ Bullock can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]