Pitching comes up short in losses

JJ Bullock, Sports Editor

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Eastern senior Hannah Cravens fires a pitch in the Panthers' 13-0 loss to Southern Illinois Edwardsville Tuesday night at Williams Field. Eastern used four pitchers in the loss.

JJ Bullock
Eastern senior Hannah Cravens fires a pitch in the Panthers’ 13-0 loss to Southern Illinois Edwardsville Tuesday night at Williams Field. Eastern used four pitchers in the loss.

Southern Illinois Edwardsville did not relent in the fifth inning of its 13-0 win over Eastern Tuesday night at Williams Field. Four different pitchers took the mound for Eastern in that inning, and four different pitchers watched as the Cougars piled on run after run, nine total in the inning.

Hannah Cravens, the game’s starter, picked up one out in the inning before the Cougars’ bats lit up and took her for seven earned runs. Mckenna Coffman and Jenna Robbins followed Cravens, neither recorded and out, Coffman gave up two runs and Robbins gave up three. Sydney Cammon finished the inning, giving up no hits before recording the final two outs.

By the time the smoke cleared in the inning, Eastern’s pitchers had given up nine runs, 10 hits and walked six batters.

Head coach Kim Schuette recognized her team needed to be better in all facets of the game on Tuesday but mentioned that when she brings her pitchers into tough situations, she wants to see a little more confidence.

“Give me your best stuff. What’s your best pitch right now, what’s your most confident pitch,” Schuette said. “And I want kids to be able to answer me; I don’t want them to be like ‘uhhhhhhh,’ and we need a little bit of that a little bit of the fake it mentality, a little bit of the ‘I got this, coach’ or ‘defense, I got this’ or ‘catcher, I got this, no problem.’ So sometimes you go with the pitchers’ best stuff, sometimes you go with the hitters’ weakness.”

On what she told her team and pitchers after the game Schuette said this:

“You have got to grit your teeth and kind of know that you can throw the ball and not be afraid of what might happen, and that’s kind of the moral of today, is you can’t be afraid of the fire, you can’t run away from the fire. You have to get right out there, and even if you don’t have your best stuff, whether it’s on the mound, in the batter’s box, on defense, you have got to tell yourself, ‘Here you go, I am going to beat you with what I have got today,’ and that’s a competitor’s edge, and I think we need to have that little guy in our head talk to us a little bit more about sticking our chest out and walking tall,” Schuette said.

The pitching staff has been without Valerie Thompson, who tore her ACL earlier this season, and the team is still feeling the effects of losing one of its pitchers.

“We hope Jenna (Robbins) can help out a little bit. She threw in high school; so did Hannah Cravens; she threw in high school, and we’re just looking for anybody to help us,” Schuette said. “And there’s nothing to be afraid of, you get the ball ‘OK here’s my chance, OK it wasn’t your shot today, tomorrow might be your shot, today its somebody else’s chance,’ you just kind of got to hang with it and keep on going right.”

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