By Todd Purvis/Sports editor
After a 13-game road trip, the Eastern softball team finally made it back to Gertrude Hobbs Field for their second home game of the season against the Dayton Flyers Tuesday afternoon.The Colonels split the series with Dayton when they took the second game of the doubleheader by a score of 3-2 after being shut out in the first game by a score of 1-0.
“It’s nice to play a home game before we play a conference home game this weekend, and it’s nice to not have to travel,” head coach Jane Worthington said. “We like being at home.”
The Colonels’ record moved to 17-8 and Dayton’s record fell to 7-18.
“We didn’t play our best games. We had a decent pitching performance from both Kindal and Kelsey, good enough to win both games,” Worthington said. “We hit the ball hard, just right at people. The ball just seemed to be bouncing their way.”
The second game of the series, Eastern took the early in the bottom of the first, when freshman first baseman Adriel Foxley homered to left-center field, giving the Colonels the 1-0 lead.
“Getting the early lead breaks it open. When you get that one run you feel pretty good about it because we know that our pitchers are going to do a good job,” Worthington said. “Anytime I can get a run or two, I like my chances, and I think that the team feels the same way.”
Eastern put another run on the board in the bottom of the second when freshman second baseman Amy Mayrhofer led off the inning with a double down the left- field line, moved to third on a past ball and eventually scored off of an RBI single from senior center fielder Kelli Bromley. The Colonels went ahead of the Flyers by a score of 2-0.
Dayton responded with a two-run fourth inning.
Second baseman Angie Barney led off the inning with a single to left-center field, then advanced to third on a throwing error off of an Eastern fielder’s choice, putting Dayton runners on the corners.
After reaching first base on the fielder’s choice, second baseman Tracie Weinheimer stole second. The following Dayton batter was then walked, leaving the bases loaded as Megan Koester singled through the left side of the infield, cutting into the Eastern lead. After another Eastern error, the Flyers then had another runner cross the plate, evening the score at two.
Eastern then regained the lead in the bottom of the fourth when third baseman Ashley Totten drew a two out walk, and then came into score when left fielder Amber Berthoud singled up the middle, then advanced to third off of an error from the Dayton center fielder. The Eastern run gave the Colonels the 3-2 lead that would never diminish as they hung on to pick up the one run victory.
Leading the way for the Eastern was Foxley, who was one-for-three with a solo homrun.
Mayrhofer was also one-for-three for the Colonels as she had a double and a run scored.
“Foxley and Barreras had a couple of hits, Bromley and Christiansen hit the ball hard but it was just right at people, but no one’s performance really stood out,” Worthington said. “Somebody different steps up for us each game.”
Freshman pitcher Kindal Kincaid picked up the win for Eastern as she pitched the complete game and gave up two unearned runs on five hits and struck out six batters.
In the first game of the series the Colonels were blanked for the second time this season.
The contest was a pitcher’s duel as neither team was able to put a run on the board until the top of the seventh.
In the seventh, Dayton second baseman Shannon St. Clair picked up a two-out double to left-center that brought Tami Roudebush to the plate. Roudebush was hit by the Kelsey Anderson pitch, which put runners at first and second. Flyer first baseman Spencer Izor then stepped to the plate and singled down the left field line and advanced to second on the throw. On the single St. Clair came in to score, giving Dayton the first and only run of the game.
“They had the timely hits and they came up with some catches,” Worthington said. “We hit the ball hard and made the plays on defense in the first game, but we need to figure out a way to win.”
In the bottom of the seventh Totten tried to rally the Colonels as she singled up the middle with one out, but the rally ended when Dayton turned a double play to end the ball game.
Kelsey Anderson pitched the complete game in which she gave up one run on three hits and struck out five.
“Kelsey pitched a good game, it just turned out that their hits were more timely than ours,” Worthington said. “We just need to find a way to get it done.”
Eastern vs. St. Louis
Eastern’s softball team boosted their record to 16-7 after they picked up the hard-fought victory over St. Louis by a score of 4-3 last Sunday.
St. Louis jumped on the Colonels early by scoring two runs in the bottom of the first off two hits and one error.
In the second Eastern chipped the St. Louis lead to one when Schaefer tripled to center field and then scored off of a Totten double to right- center field.
The Colonels tied the game up at two in the third, but St. Louis scored once again in the bottom half of the fourth, giving them the 3-2 lead.
In the fifth inning, after Barreras was hit by a pitch, she moved to second on a sacrifice bunt, then moved on to third off of a wild throw by the second baseman. Foxely then doubled to right-center field, which brought Barreras across the plate to tie the score at three.
Norris then singled up the middle and scored Foxley, and gave Eastern the 4-3 lead, which is how the game ended.
The Colonels will return to the field Saturday when they host Eastern Illinois at 1 p.m. for a doubleheader at Gertrude Hobbs Field.
“We’ve got some big games this weekend,” Worthington said. “If we let up we’re going to be mediocre, but if we play hard we can play with anybody in the county. We just need to be more consistent.”
The Colonels host Eastern Illinois this Saturday at 1 p.m. for their first game of conference action this season.