Panthers softball ousted in first OVC Tourney since ’18


Han Byer

Alexa Rehmeier, right handed pitcher, and a freshman finance major, winds up her pitch at the softball game against the Murray State Racers Sunday afternoon. The Panthers won two out of three games against the Racers for the series Saturday, April 2, through Sunday, April 3, 2022.

Autumn Schulz, Sports Editor

The Eastern softball team saw their season come to an end Tuesday afternoon as they lost to Tennessee Tech 3-1 in the opening round of the 2022 Ohio Valley Conference Tournament.
The Panthers concluded their 2022 season with a 25-30 overall record and 10-17 in conference play, securing them the seventh-place spot. The loss against the Golden Eagles also marked the Panthers’ first conference tournament appearance since 2018.
The Golden Eagles had a 1-0 lead in the fourth inning, but the Panthers managed to tie the game in the top of the sixth after Morgan Lewis hit a double. However, the bottom of the sixth inning saw the Golden Eagles score twice, ultimately sealing the victory as the Panthers could not produce runs with the bases loaded in the seventh.
Prior to the season-ending loss, the Panthers ended the regular season on a high note last weekend on Senior Day as they swept the Golden Eagles during a doubleheader.
The Panthers trailed 12-0 during the first game but managed to score six runs in the bottom of the seventh. A walk-off single by Jaylen Prichard in the eighth sealed the 16-15 win for the Panthers.
The Panthers took advantage of the momentum from the first game and jumped out to an early 4-1 lead in the first inning. The Golden Eagles tied it in the top of the second, but the Panthers rallied behind senior Kendall Fields’ RBI doubles in the third and fourth innings.
The Panthers will lose five seniors with the conclusion of the 2022 season: infielder Abi Stahlhut, infielder Sydney Cammon, outfielder Kendall Fields, infielder Hannah Cravens, and infielder Megan Burton. Cravens and Burton often found themselves at the top of the OVC standings throughout the season.
Senior infielder Hannah Cravens capped off her last season as a Panther by not only earning first team All-OVC honors but also leading the OVC in home runs with 13. Cravens was third in the conference with 43 RBIs and second with 18 doubles. Her performance during the 2022 season moved her into the EIU career top ten for doubles, home runs, and RBIs.
Senior infielder Megan Burton ended her season tied for fourth in the conference for runs scored with 55 and tied fifth for home runs with nine. Burton was fourth on the team list for batting averages with .286 and a slugging percentage of .492.
Despite five seniors leaving, the Panthers have some promising talent to look forward to in the upcoming 2023 season. Sophomore catcher Lindy Milkowski earned first team All-OVC honors as she led the Panthers with 46 RBIs, which ranked second in the conference. Milkowski also earned All-OVC Newcomer team honors as this is her first season with the Panthers after transferring from Iowa.
On the mound, freshman pitcher Alexa Rehmeier earned a spot on the All-OVC Newcomer team after leading the Panthers this season with 12 wins. Rehmeier had 34 appearances this season, 107.2 innings pitched and 99 strikeouts.

Autumn Schulz can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].