Eastern softball team loses four OVC games over weekend

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JJ Bullock | The Daily Eastern News Eastern’s McKenna Coffman stands at the plate in the Panthers’ 7-4 loss to Murray State on March 22. Eastern lost all four of its conference games this past weekend.

JJ Bullock, Sports Editor

The Eastern softball team dropped all four games of its weekend platter of OVC matchups, falling twice to Tennessee Tech on Friday and twice to Jacksonville State on Sunday.

Eastern was mercy ruled, for the second time in conference play, by Tennessee Tech 8-0 to begin the weekend. The Panthers kept it tighter in game two, but a three-run fifth inning by the Golden Eagles ultimately sank Eastern 5-3.

Sunday’s games against Jacksonville State brought no more luck as Eastern kept its pattern of losing big and then losing close as Eastern fell to the Gamecocks 7-0 in game one and then faltered close again 7-6 in game two.

Raleigh Lewis hit a grand slam in the first inning of Eastern’s 8-0 loss to Tennessee Tech, setting the tone of that blowout loss early. The Golden Eagles scored five runs in that first inning, two in the third inning and one in the fourth inning putting the mercy rule into effect.

Golden Eagles’ pitcher Alyssa Arden threw all five innings of that game and held the Panthers hitless.

Eastern hit two home runs in game two and took an early 3-2 lead in the game. Megan Burton hit a solo home run in the fourth inning and Haley Mitchel followed her a couple batters later with a two-run home run of her own.

But Lewis had another home run dialed up in her bat and she sent a three-run home run over the fence in the fifth inning, giving Tennessee Tech the 5-3 lead they would need to win the game.

Hannah Cravens pitched the entire game for Eastern in that loss.

Jacksonville State scored all seven of its runs in the fourth inning of its 7-0 win over Eastern on Sunday. The Gamecocks hit two home runs and one triple in the inning, slugging their way past Eastern, like they have to so many other teams this season.

All seven runs were charged to Cravens.

Eastern did what it could to mount a comeback in game two against Jacksonville State, but the team’s efforts fell just short in the seventh inning.

Jacksonville State took a 7-4 lead in the fourth inning and Eastern slowly came back, scoring in the fifth and sixth innings.

Eastern managed to get the tying run on base in the top of the seventh inning, but the game ended with McKenna Coffman lining into a double play to end the game.

Eastern fell to 10-27 on the season and is now just 1-7 in conference play. Only Morehead State at 0-6 has a worse conference winning percentage than Eastern.

Eastern dips back into non-conference play this Wednesday for two games against Indiana State at Williams Field, then goes back to conference play on Saturday with a doubleheader against Tennessee-Martin.

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