EIU softball’s Morgan Lewis named player to watch by OVC


Han Byer

Outfielder, Morgan Lewis, attempts to bunt the ball at an exhibition game against Olney Community College at Williams Field.

Autumn Schulz, Sports Editor

The Eastern Illinois softball team was selected to finish in fourth place in the 2023 Softball OVC Preseason Poll.  

Last season, the Panthers tied with UT Martin to finish in fourth place in the OVC. However, the Panthers ended up in seventh place. 

Their 2022 season came to an end with a 3-1 loss to Tennessee Tech, who finished in sixth place, in the opening round of the OVC Tournament. 

This season, the predicted order of finish looks a bit different. 

  1. UT Martin (11 first-place votes) 
  2. Southeast Missouri (7) 
  3. Tennessee Tech  
  4. Eastern Illinois 
  5. Southern Indiana 
  6. SIUE 
  7. Lindenwood 
  8. Tennessee State 
  9. Morehead State 

Schools were not allowed to rank their own team in the preseason poll. 

Graduate student outfielder, Morgan Lewis, is the player to watch for the Panthers during the 2023 season. Last season, Lewis led the Panthers with a .366 batting average with 37 hits, five doubles, and two triples. 

Lewis only struck out eight times in 112 plate appearances. 

The other players to watch for the 2023 season are as follows: 

Amanda Weyh, Sr, P – Lindenwood 

Madeline Gailor, Sr., OF, – Morehead State 

Paige Halliwill, Jr., OF, – Southeast Missouri  

Lauryn Yslava, So., OF, – SIUE 

Josie Newman, So., P/INF, – Southern Indiana 

Marisa Mauroschadt, Sr., OF, – Tennessee State 

Haeli Bryson, Gr., INF, – Tennessee Tech 

Kallie Pickens, Gr., INF, – UT Martin  

The Panthers will see a veteran squad return to lead the 2023 season. Players such as senior infielder Maddie Swart, redshirt senior Denaed Santini, and junior pitcher Olivia Price will return to the field this season. 

The Panthers lost five seniors at the conclusion of the 2022 season. Notably, the Panthers will take the field without Hannah Cravens and Megan Burton. 

The Panthers will open their season in San Antonio, Texas, to play in the Incarnate Word Tournament this Friday starting at 12:30 p.m. against Grand Canyon. Later Friday evening, the Panthers will take on Incarnate Word at 5:30 p.m. 

On Saturday at 12:30 p.m., the Panthers will take on Green Bay and then later, at 5:30 p.m., the Panthers will take on Incarnate Word once again. 

The Panthers will wrap up their away trip by playing Grand Canyon again on Sunday at 10 a.m. 


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