EIU softball in second in OVC standings


Han Byer

Sophomore infielder/outfielder, Aniya Holt (9), smiles during a team gathering between innnings while head coach Tara Archibald speaks to the team on Wednesday evening.

Kate Stevens, Assistant Sports Editor

The Eastern Illinois softball team is about halfway through its OVC schedule as they have three more OVC series to play before the season is over.

The team has had success throughout the season as they have given up just two conference games and have won 12.

The Panthers have swept four of its conference opponents. So far they have swept UT Martin, SIUE, Tennessee State, and Tennessee Tech. The only opponent they have lost to was in the series with Southern Indiana. EIU won the first game in the series and then lost the second and third.

EIU will face OVC opponents Morehead State, Lindenwood, and Southeast Missouri and non-conference opponents Purdue Fort Wayne and IUPUI in the next three weeks to close out the regular season. Southeast Missouri is currently in the number one spot in the OVC, so the final series on May 6 and 7 will be the series to watch as the OVC season comes to an end.

Eastern is currently third in team batting, fourth in team pitching, and second in team fielding. They have several in the individual rankings as well.

Pitcher Rachel Kaufman and outfielder Jaylen Prichard are in the top ten of the OVC for individual batting as Kaufman has a .364 batting average and Prichard has a .362 batting average.

Kaufman and pitcher Oliva Price are also in the top ten for individual pitching. Price is fourth with a 1.96 era and Kaufman is seventh with a 2.18 era.

Catcher Lindy Milkowski is first in the OVC for runs batted in (36), first for home runs (13), first for total bases (86), and third for runs scored (27).

Infielder Kendall Grover is fourth in the OVC for stolen bases as she has stolen nine times in ten attempts. She is also fourth in the league for doubles (11).

Prichard is fourth in the league for total hits as she has 46 and is second in the OVC for triples as she has recorded three.

These statistics are as of April 16 after Eastern swept Tennessee Tech on the road this past weekend.

With 13 games left in the regular season, Eastern has a lot of potential going into the second half of the conference schedule.

Eastern was selected to finish in fourth place in the preseason polls. UT Martin was first, SEMO second, and Tennessee Tech third. As EIU has swept UT Martin and Tech so far, they have just SEMO to beat to stay at the top of the rankings.

UT Martin is currently in third place in the OVC rankings and Tennessee Tech is in fifth.

EIU’s next stop is in Fort Wayne, Ind., as they take on Purdue Fort Wayne in a doubleheader on Wednesday at 12 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. The next OVC matchup is April 22 and 23 as they host Morehead State for a three-game series.