Eastern softball team loses 2 to Redhawks, fall to 3-15 in OVC

JJ Bullock, Sports Editor

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The Eastern softball team fell to 3-15 in Ohio Valley Conference play and is now officially eliminated from conference tournament contention after falling twice to Southeast Missouri in a doubleheader Saturday.

Eastern pitcher Hannah Cravens winds up in the Panthers’ 13-0 loss to Southern Illinois Edwardsville on April 9.  The Panthers’ lost both games of a doubleheader to Southeast Missouri this past weekend.

JJ Bullock
Eastern pitcher Hannah Cravens winds up in the Panthers’ 13-0 loss to Southern Illinois Edwardsville on April 9. The Panthers’ lost both games of a doubleheader to Southeast Missouri this past weekend.

The Redhawks took game one 11-3, mercy ruling the Panthers after just five innings. Southeast Missouri got its bats working early against starting pitcher Jade Montgomery who was out of the game after just 1.1 innings of work.

Hannah Cravens relieved Montgomery, but she too met strong resistance on the mound from the Redhawks, giving up three runs and five hits in 2.2 inning pitched.

Sarah Messex had a game-high three RBIs for Southeast Missouri, all coming off a three-run home run in the fifth inning. The Redhawks hit three total home runs in the game.

Taylor Wullenweber, Morgan LaMore and Kendyl McKeough notched the RBIs for Eastern.

Neither Cravens nor Montgomery got much help from their defense in the game.

The Panthers committed four errors in game one and three in game two. Eastern gave up five total unearned runs across the two games.

Game two saw the Eastern bats get a jump in productivity, thanks mostly to Breya Cooper, but errors and solid hitting again by the Redhawks cost Eastern the game.

Cooper hit a three-run home run in the fourth inning to tie the game at 3-3, but Southeast Missouri took the lead right back in the fourth inning with Messex scoring on a throwing error and another run coming off an RBI single.

Eastern tied the game again in the fifth inning at 5-5 after Mady Poulter scored on a wild pitch and Megan Burton scored on an RBI groundout by Haley Mitchell.

Southeast Missouri’s Claudia Gallo took the lead back for her team in the sixth inning, knocking in three runs by way of a triple.

Gallo finished with a game-high four RBIs.

The two losses to Southeast Missouri mark the seventh time this season Eastern has been swept in a weekend series by a conference opponent.

Eastern’s 3-15 conference record puts them at 11th in the OVC; the eighth and final conference tournament team is currently Tennessee Tech who has an 8-8 conference record.

Eastern only has four conference games remaining on its schedule, two against Belmont and two against Tennessee State.Wins in all four of those games still will not get Eastern to the eight-game win total needed currently to make the conference tournament.

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