Softball drops first OVC series of season to Southern Indiana


Han Byer

Eastern left-fielder, Aryn Henke (12), slides into home plate attempting to score, while Southern Indiana catcher, Sammie Kihega (16), tags her out at home during their game against Southern Indiana on Williams Field Saturday afternoon. The Panthers lost 2-0 to the Screaming Eagles.

Autumn Schulz, Sports Editor

The Eastern Illinois softball team lost its second Ohio Valley Conference game this season after being shutout 2-0  by Southern Indiana at Williams Field Saturday afternoon.

The Panthers are now 20-15 overall on the season and 9-2 in the OVC. They are currently in second place and the Screaming Eagles are tied for third place with UT Martin with an 8-6 record.

Head Coach Tara Archibald said the games were hard fought this weekend but the Panthers did not execute offensively the way that they needed to.

“You got to tip your hat to her [Josie],” Archibald said. “She is a really good pitcher. I think she does a great job and a true competitor on the mound. I think she pitched really well against us and attacked her game plan well.”

The game was scoreless through four innings before Screaming Eagle right hander Hailey Gotshall was able to get on base with a single up the middle. Gotshall was 2-for-3 on the game.

A sacrifice bunt and a groundout in the infield moved a Screaming Eagle pinch runner around to third and then utility player Rachel Martinez stepped up to the plate and was able to complete an RBI single.

Martinez was 2-for-3 on the game.

Screaming Eagle head coach Sue Kunkle said that the Eagles are taking it one game at a time since transitioning to the Division I level and into the OVC.

“I don’t know that it really mattered who we played this weekend,” Kunkle said. “I mean, they’re a good team but most of the games in the OVC are like this. They’re close games and we just played well.”

The Panthers had a chance to tie the game 1-1 in the bottom of the fifth inning as junior catcher Lindy

Milkowski hit a single to left field, sending junior outfielder Aryn Henke home on an attempt to score, but she was thrown out.

Milkowski was part of both double plays in the second and third innings. She said that making plays that in a game is very important because it attacks the other team’s momentum and energy.

“As soon as we got that double play, it really takes them out of their rhythm because a lot of softball is about rhythm and it’s about how you feel and building off each other when it comes to momentum,” Milkowski said.

The Screaming Eagles would go on to score their second run in the sixth inning after Allie Goodin had a RBI single up the middle to score Mackenzie Bedrick.

The Screaming Eagles recorded six hits in the game compared to the Panthers’ four. The Panthers also left seven runners on base in scoring position throughout the game.

Archibald said the Panthers need to find a way to have productive at bats.

“We get a runner on first, less than two outs, we gotta get her moved over,” Archibald said. “We get a runner at first and third less than two outs, you gotta put the ball in play. We can’t strike out, right, so just being able to put more pressure on the defense.”

There were four Panthers that recorded only a single hit throughout the game. Jaylen Prichard was 1-for 4, Lindy Milkowski and Kendall Grover were both 1-for-3, and Aniya Holt was 1-for-2.

Josie Newman was on the mound for all seven innings for the Screaming Eagles. Newman allowed four hits and recorded eight strikeouts in the 28 batters that she faced.

Kunkle said that the Panthers are a good hitting team.

“They got more big power numbers than us,” Kunkle said. “Josie was on and she had a really good weekend, our whole staff did. Everyone contributed to our win last night.”

Olivia Price was on the mound for the Panthers for five innings. She allowed five hits and two runs while recording two strikeouts and one error in the 19 batters that she faced.

The Panthers will be back in action on Wednesday at 5 p.m. at Coaches Stadium to take on Saint Louis.


Han Byer contributed to this article. 

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