The Eastern softball team traveled to play Western Illinois for a nonconference game Thursday afternoon.
The Panthers beat the Leathernecks 5-2, snapping a four-game losing streak and improving their overall record to 20-15.
Both teams scored a run in the first inning, with Eastern getting its run on an RBI single from Mia Davis that drove in Morgan Lewis.
Western Illinois answered with a leadoff home run from shortstop Sydney Hollings off Eastern pitcher Jade Montgomery.
Eastern grabbed the lead in the top of the third inning when pinch runner Taylor Jones scored on a Haley Mitchell single after stealing second base to get into scoring position.
Mitchell then scored when Hannah Cravens tripled to right-center field.
The Leathernecks got a run back in the bottom of the inning.
Rightfielder Alyssa Ealy reached on a three-base error and then scored on a sac fly.
Montgomery would not allow any runs in the fourth inning before being replace by Olivia Price, who pitched three scoreless innings to close out the game.
Eastern scored another run in the sixth on a double from shortstop Megan Burton that drove in McKinlee Miller.
The Panthers added another insurance run in the seventh on a sac fly from Mitchell that scored Denaed Santini.
The Panther lineup was led by Davis and Mitchell.
Davis finished the game 3-for-4 with an RBI and Mitchell was 1-for-2 with a walk and 2 RBI.
Montgomery surrendered just 3 hits in her 4 innings of work and allowed the two runs, only one of which was earned. She also struck out three batters.
She improved her record to 7-10 on the season.
Price allowed two hits and three walks, but did not allow any runs after struggling in her last two outings against Jacksonville State. The save for Price was her first of the season.
Eastern also stole five bases in the game.
Lewis had two steals, and Santini, Jones and Katie Nicholson each stole a base.
Eastern will be back in conference action Sunday and Monday, hosting Murray State.
The teams will play a doubleheader Sunday afternoon with the games starting at 1 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. and a single game Monday at 1 p.m.
Adam Tumino can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]