COOKEVILLE, Tenn. - The offense of Eastern Illinois proved to be
too much for the Golden Eagle softball team as the Panthers won
both games of the doubleheader, 11-0 and 2-1.
Torrential rain on Friday caused severe damage to the playing surface and forced a complete rescheduling of the contests. Coach Tory Acheson and his players worked several hours to get the field in playable condition. The schedule called for a doubleheader on Friday and a single game at 1 on Saturday, but due to the storms, the teams agreed to play a pair of games at 3 on Saturday afternoon. Senior Kristina Hortert played her final regular-season innings at the Tech softball field, getting the start for the Golden Eagles in game one.
After striking out the first two batters, EIU got two on following a walk and an error by freshman Jordan Leff. Hailee Hanna then put the Panthers on top, hitting a shot over the left-field fence, driving in three.
The Panthers struck again in the top of the next frame. A pair of singles and a walk loaded the bases for Denee Menzione, who hit a grand slam to left-center on an 0-2 pitch.
The Golden Eagles got two on in the second, but were unable to convert as Kiley Holtz turned a double play, catching a line drive then picking off sophomore Lacie Coquerille at second.
Eastern Illinois added three more in the third after freshman Whitney Cummings came in to pitch for the Golden Eagles. Melinda Jackson singled to open the inning and was followed by Hayley Pieper who reached on a fielder's choice. Sarah Coppert then hit her second home run of the season, a three-run blast to center field.
Cummings retired the final six batters consecutively, but received no help from her offense as Tech got just one hit in the las three innings of the game.
Hortert took the loss, allowing five earned runs and four walks in her two innings in the circle.
Amber May picked up the shutout win for EIU, allowing just three hits and one walk while striking out three.
Game two looked to be just the opposite as the Panthers were held hitless through the first three innings by freshman pitcher Holly Thomas.
Tech took the lead in the third when freshman Brooke Basten singled and stole second, then advanced to third on a single by freshman Cassidy Skeen. A sacrifice fly to center by Coquerille scored Basten, putting Tech up 1-0.
The Panthers answered in the fourth, scoring two on one hit. Coppert opened the inning by walking on five pitches. Menzione then singled to center and came all the way around to score when sophomore catcher Callie Schmidt threw the ball into left field, trying to pick off Coppert at third.
The Golden Eagles were able to get two runners aboard in the bottom of the inning, but a pair of pop-outs held them scoreless.
Neither team was able to muster a hit for the remainder of the game, holding the score at 2-1.
Thomas struck out seven and walked one, allowing no earned runs and only one hit in the contest.
Kathleen Jacoby suffered the loss, giving up five hits and striking out five Golden Eagle batters.
Tech will travel to Belmont on Tuesday afternoon for a single game at 1.