Eastern softball team gets 2022 season underway

Eastern+shortstop+Megan+Burton+throws+to+first+after+fielding+a+ground+ball+at+third+base+in+the+second+game+of+a+doubleheader+against+Tennessee-Martin+April+12%2C+2021.+Eastern+lost+the+game+1-0.

File Photo | The Daily Eastern News

Eastern shortstop Megan Burton throws to first after fielding a ground ball at third base in the second game of a doubleheader against Tennessee-Martin April 12, 2021. Eastern lost the game 1-0.

Adam Tumino, Sports Editor

Williams Field may be covered in snow, but nevertheless the 2022 softball season is underway for Eastern.

The Panthers began play over the weekend in the Rosemont Dome Tournament in Rosemont, Illinois. They went 1-3 in the three-day tournament.

The season opener took on Feb. 10 against Western Michigan with Eastern losing 6-2. The Panthers then scored 20 runs in their two games the next day, losing 12-9 to St. Thomas and then beating Valparaiso 11-2 in five innings to get their first win of the season. 

They closed out the tournament with 5-3 loss to Bowling Green. 

Several newcomers to the Panthers performed well in their first few games, led by catcher Lindy Milkowski.

She hit the Panthers’ first home run of the season in the game against St. Thomas and followed it up with a historic game against Valparaiso. 

Milkowski hit two grand slams in that game, tying an NCAA record. She also doubled in the game. 

Milkowski played for Iowa last season. She hit two home runs for the Hawkeyes, one of which was also a grand slam. 

Freshman Riley Dittmar also made an impact in her first collegiate action. She played in all four games and went 5-of-11 from the plate for a .455 batting average, the second-highest on the team. 

Leading the Panthers in batting average is returning second baseman Hannah Cravens, who also leads the team in slugging percentage despite going hitless in the season opener. 

So far Cravens is slashing .462/.533/1.077 with two home runs and two doubles. 

Reigning OVC Player of the Year Megan Burton has three hits and two RBI in the first four games. 

On the mound, freshman Alexa Rehmeier leads the team with 8.1 innings pitched. She has allowed three earned runs for an ERA of 2.62. 

Freshman pitcher Kaitlyn Reifsteck has pitched 4.1 scoreless innings to begin her college career. 

The Panthers play again this weekend in the River City Classic II in Vicksburg, Mississippi. 

They have two games each on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. They will play Jackson State three times and one game each against North Alabama, Alcorn State and Alabama A&M. 

 

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