EIU softball team to take on 0-22 University of Illinois at Chicago Wednesday


Rob Le Cates

The Panthers will play their first home game of the season against the University of Illinois Chicago on Wed. 22, 2023 at Williams Field at 1 p.m.

Autumn Schulz, Sports Editor

The 14-12 Eastern softball team will be taking on the 0-22 University of Illinois Chicago Flames Wednesday evening at 4 p.m. at Williams Field to kick off its four-game home stand after traveling on the road for over a month.

The Panthers are entering their fourth season under head coach Tara Archibald and this will be the first time that the Panthers take the home field without Megan Burton and Hannah Cravens.

The Panthers have been relying on:

Sophomore outfielder Jaylen Prichard

Senior right hander Rachel Kaufman

Junior catcher Lindy Milkowski

Junior outfielder Aryn Henke

Freshman infielder Kendall Grover

Sophomore infielder Briana Gonzalez

Graduate student outfielder Morgan Lewis

Senior infielder Maddie Swart

Prichard leads the starting lineup with a .354 batting average. In 82 at bats, Prichard has recorded 29 hits and 11 RBIs.

Kaufman is second in the lineup in terms of batting average with a .343. In 70 at bats, Kaufman has recorded 24 hits, 12 runs five home runs, and 16 RBIs.

Milkowski is third with a .329 batting average. Milkowski has recorded 23 hits, 26 RBIs, and nine home runs.

Henke has a .288 batting average, and she has recorded 17 hits and six RBIs. Grover has a .278 batting average and she has recorded 20 hits, four home runs, and 11 RBIs.

Gonzalez, Lewis, and Swart are all batting over .200 percent with Gonzalez leading the way with a .258 and Lewis with a .231 and Swart with a .218.

In terms of pitching, Kaufman leads the team with a 1.94 ERA. She has had 16 appearances at the mound this season, allowing 43 hits, 13 runs, and 12 earned runs.

Olivia Price is second on the team with a 2.58 ERA. She has had 12 mound appearances and eight starts this season, allowing 43 hits, 18 runs, and 15 earned runs.

In the last 10 matchups, the Flames have a 9-1 advantage over the Panthers and they are on a six game win streak. The last time the Flames and the Panthers went head-to-head was Feb. 7, 2014, with the Flames taking the 4-3 win.

Junior utility player Anna Walker leads the Flames with a .259 batting average on the season with the second-best batting average coming from senior outfielder Alannah Cran who has a .225.

Walker also leads the team in slugging percentage with a .296. She also leads the team in strikeouts this season with 17.

Senior right-hander Christina Toniolo leads the Flames with a 4.22 ERA. She has allowed 32 walks and has struck out 34 batters.

The Panthers will continue their home stand on Saturday with a doubleheader against OVC opponent SIUE and then wrapping up the series on Sunday at 1 p.m.


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