Panthers to host doubleheader Tuesday

Adam Tumino, Editor-in-Chief

The Eastern softball team will be taking a brief break from conference play on Tuesday when they host Indiana State for a midweek doubleheader at Williams Field.

The Panthers have cooled off a bit after starting conference play 7-1 in their first eight games and are now 3-5 in their last eight games.

Eastern is now in fifth place in the OVC.

Indiana State is coming into the nonconference matchup having won its last four conference games after losing its first five.

The Sycamore’s 4-5 conference record has them in seventh place so far in the Missouri Valley Conference.

Eastern’s offense has not lost much of its potency even with the team’s recent losses.

The Panthers still lead the OVC in home runs with 39, although Southeast Missouri is closing the gap and now has 32 home runs on the season.

The Panthers’ team slugging percentage of .510 leads the conference as well. They rank third in the conference in runs scored.

Besides leading the conference, Eastern’s offense is also among the most powerful in the nation.

The Panthers rank 18th in Division I in home runs per game with an average of 1.44.

Leading the nation in that category is top-ranked Oklahoma with an average of 3.25 home runs per game. The Sooners have 91 home runs in 28 games.

Eastern redshirt-junior shortstop Megan Burton also finds herself near the top of the national home run rankings. Her 11 home runs rank second in the OVC and have her tied for 20th in the nation.

Redshirt-senior first baseman Haley Mitchell has 10 home runs, ranking fourth in the OVC.

She also recently recorded her 200th career hit, making her just the sixth player in Eastern history to reach that mark.

The Sycamores have the third-most home runs in the MVC with 24 and the fifth-most runs in the conference.

They are led offensively by first baseman/outfielder Isabella Henning senior outfielder Bella Peterson.

Henning is hitting .310 and is tied for the team lead with 6 home runs. Peterson is hitting .360 with 8 doubles and 4 home runs.

Eastern’s pitching staff is tied for seventh in the OVC in team ERA at 3.49.

Freshman Olivia Price ranks 12th in the OVC with an ERA of 2.87 and also has the fourth-most wins in the OVC with seven.

The Sycamores also rank seventh in their conference with a 4.51 team ERA.

Sophomore Lexi Benko leads the team with a 3.55 ERA and her 49.1 innings are the second-most on the team.

The games Tuesday will start at 3 p.m. and 5 p.m.

 

Adam Tumino can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]