Eastern to host IUPUI on Tuesday

JJ Bullock, Sports Editor

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One non-conference game remains on the Eastern softball team’s schedule this season: a Tuesday showdown with IUPUI at Williams Field.

Eastern second basemen Mady Poulter waits for the pitch in the Panthers’ 6-4 loss to Indiana State on April 3. Eastern hosts IUPUI tomorrow at Williams Field.

JJ Bullock
Eastern second basemen Mady Poulter waits for the pitch in the Panthers’ 6-4 loss to Indiana State on April 3. Eastern hosts IUPUI tomorrow at Williams Field.

IUPUI (16-33, 10-8) is coming into the game winners of two games in a row, having just beat Cleveland State 10-6 and 7-1 on Saturday and Sunday, while Eastern is losers of two games in a row, losing to Southeast Missouri twice this past weekend.

Eastern can take solace in the fact, however, that its non-conference record is significantly better than its OVC record. Eastern is a lowly 3-15 in conference play this season, but when playing teams outside of the OVC, the Panthers are 10-12. While 10-12 is still a losing record, a seven-win improvement over its conference record is nothing to ignore.

Eastern’s last win came against a non-conference opponent on April 17 against Butler 3-0 on the road.

IUPUI has been on the opposite side of the spectrum, on the other hand. They are just 6-25 in non-conference play, and like Eastern, have not fared well against OVC schools. The Jaguars are just 2-4 in six games against OVC schools this season, suffering two losses against Belmont, one against Southern Illinois Edwardsville and one against Southeast Missouri. They picked up one win over Morehead State and one over Southern Illinois Edwardsville. IUPUI has also lost both of its game against Butler this season.

Eastern and IUPUI share more than just common opponents; they also share a similarity in pitching staffs that have struggled with run prevention this season. IUPUI is last in the Horizon League with a 5.84 staff ERA, and unlike Eastern, has no players with an ERA below five. Lexi Lucas has the Jaguars’ lowest ERA at 5.63; her fellow staff members have ERAs of 8.43, 9.79 and 11.76.

Eastern is 10 of 12 teams in the OVC with a 4.81 ERA, but Eastern has two pitchers with ERAs below five: McKenna Coffman (2.91) and Sydney Cammon (4.92).

IUPUI does take back an advantage on the offensive side of things. The Jaguars are third in the Horizon League with a .264 team batting average and second in runs scored with 214.

Eastern’s offense is 11th in the OVC with a .249 batting average and 7th with 187 runs scored.

IUPUI has four hitters batting over .300 this season; Jaida Speith leads the team with a .313 batting average.

Eastern and IUPUI play at 4 p.m. Tuesday at Williams Field.

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