Prichard leads EIU softball to its 10th straight win


Kate Stevens

Jaylen Prichard runs to first base and drops her bat during the midday game with IUPUI Tuesday afternoon.

Kate Stevens, Assistant Sports Editor

Sophomore outfielder Jaylen Prichard led the Eastern softball team to its 10th straight win Tuesday afternoon in a midweek non-conference game with IUPUI at Williams Field.

The Panthers won 4-3 after Prichard went 3-for-3 at the plate. In her three at bats she contributed to each run the Panthers had in the game as she had three hits, two runs, and two runs batted in.

Head coach Tara Archibald said Prichard was EIU’s biggest standout in the game because of the contributions she had to the scoreboard.

“Jaylen getting that big hit there right at the end, I thought that was huge,” Archibald said. “So yeah, Jaylen really stood out today.”

Prichard had a hit into left field in the bottom of the 6th inning that brought Aryn Henke home, which ultimately sealed EIU’s fate as the winners of the game as IUPUI was unable to answer at the top of the 7th.

Archibald also gave a nod to freshman infielder Kendall Grover who had two hits with a run batted in that allowed Prichard to score in the fourth inning. ‘

She said that although it was not the team’s prettiest game, they still found a way to get the win.

“Today, we just had to find a way to win,” Archibald said. “It wasn’t our prettiest game, it wasn’t our best game, but we found a way to win. And that’s all we needed to do.”

Archibald then mentioned that the team has a strong chemistry that has kept them going this season.

“I felt like from the time we got on campus, this group just had a special bond,” Archibald said. “And I kept telling them that that bond, that their power was the unit. And I thought today that really showed. When Maddie (Swart) miss played that ball in the right field, they wanted to have her back and they comeout and just get that run right there like that. And that just shows they play for each other. They enjoy each other and I was proud of that today for sure.”

With just two conference series left in the season, Archibald and the team are excited to get down to business.

“We’re just trying to keep it business as usual,” Archibald said. “Ready to get back and go back to work and get ready for Lindenwood, it’s a new opponent. We haven’t been there, so we don’t really know what to expect facility wise or anything, so that part will be new. [We’ll] just keep working to clean some stuff up on our end. Today, I thought there showed some things we could work on and continue to find our best version of all.”

Archibald said she has two words that describe her team best: together and gritty.

The team’s grit and togetherness has shown as they have won the last ten games and have moved to 30-15 overall and 15-2 conference record.

EIU sits at second in the conference as they look to play at Lindenwood this weekend and host SEMO the following weekend to close out the regular season.

EIU and Lindenwood will kick off the series Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m. in St. Charles, Mo.


Kate Stevens can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]