By Todd Purvis/Sports editor
Eastern’s seven-game conference winning streak was snapped Saturday when the Colonels were shut out by the Skyhawks of Tennessee Martin by a score of 2-0. Eastern bounced back and won the second game of the doubleheader 4-3 and went on to win the third game in the series by a 6-3 margin.”We came out on Sunday and we hit the ball,” coach Jane Worthington said. “When our team decides that they really want to play, they come out and crush.”
The wins Saturday and Sunday marked the sixth. straight conference series the Colonels have won, and it boosted their league record to 14-2 on the year, which pushes them even further out in front in league play.
The Colonels got their bats going early in the contest as they were able to rally on two outs and plate three runs in the bottom of the opening inning.
Adriel Foxley opened the inning with a single up the middle before Jennifer Norris smacked a double to left-center to score Foxley. Ashley Totten followed with a double into right-center that scored Norris.
Amber Berthoud kept the inning alive with a single that put Eastern runners on the corners for Kelsey Anderson. Anderson doubled down the right field line to score Eastern’s third run of the inning, bringing the score to 3-0 after the first.
“In the first inning we came out in the first and we were ready to play,” Worthington said. “When we want to hit, we can hit.”
The Skyhawks responded in the top of the inning with a two-run homer from Emily Webb, but it proved to be as close as the visitors would come.
The Eastern squad retaliated in the bottom of the second inning with three more runs to push the lead to 6-2. Kelli Bromley started the inning with a single to left. Foxley followed with a walk to put Eastern runners on first and second. Norris drove Bromley in from second with a single. Totten picked up another key hit with a single to right that scored the Colonels’ final two runs.
“If you can come out and take an early lead it takes the heart out of the other team and makes it a long way back for them,” Worthington said.
Anderson only allowed three hits over the next four innings from the mound for the Colonels.
“Kelsey has been pitching well for us lately,” Worthington said. “Kelsey is coming along and feeling a little bit better about her pitching performance, and the more confidence she gets, the better she is going to be because she has the skill.”
The Skyhawks put their third and final run on the board in the top of the seventh as Webb led off with a single and then moved to second off of a wild pitch. She then came in to score off of a pair of throwing errors from Eastern. Anderson ended the Skyhawks’ scoring threat by forcing Christa Webb to fly out to end the game.
Norris led the Eastern offense by going three for four with a double and two runs scored.
“Norris has been hitting the ball really well for us this year,” Worthington said.
Bromley, Totten and Anderson all chipped in with two hits each for the Colonels.
“Kelly Bromley is continuing to tear it up,” Worthington said.
Worthington said Sunday’s win was a total team effort.
“We have a real tough lineup one through nine,” Worthington said. “It’s fun when you hit the ball, it makes things a lot easier.”
The Colonels were in action again on Saturday when they split a doubleheader with the Skyhawks.
In the first game of action Eastern fell by a score of 2-0.
UT-Martin get on the scoreboard in the top of the seventh inning with a two-run homer, and that proved to be all the Skyhawks needed to win the game.
Eastern tried to fight back in the bottom of the ninth with back-to-back singles from Alysha Jones and Jen Christiansen. Both runners advanced on a sacrifice bunt from Diana Barreras. Bromley then came to the plate and flew out to center for the second out of the game, and when Jones tried to tag up on the flyout, the UT-Martin center fielder threw out Jones at the plate to end the game.
Jones, Bromley and Norris all picked up two hits in the game for Eastern.
“They just beat us,” Worthington said. “We didn’t hit the ball as well as we should have.”
The nightcap proved to be a different story for the Colonels as they were led by a four-run third inning that proved to be enough for Eastern to win the game.
“It was nice to see our guys come back and accept the challenge and pick up a couple of wins after losing the first game,” Worthington said.
Jones led the inning off with a single before Christiansen and Barreras reached base on two consecutive Skyhawk errors. Bromley then picked up a RBI with a groundout to shortstop.
Foxley stepped to the plate and blew the game open with a three-run shot over the left-center field wall, giving Eastern the 4-0 lead.
The Skyhawks responded in the top of the fifth by putting a three-run rally together, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the Colonels’ four-run lead, bringing the final score to 4-3.
The Colonels were led by Foxley, who was one for three with three RBI’s on her homer in the third.
“Adriel hit the ball well for us,” Worthington said.
Eastern was scheduled to take on Western Kentucky University yesterday and will travel to Austin Peay for a three-game series this weekend.
“We’re doing some good things, and hopefully when the season ends we’ll be where we want to be, and that’s on top,” Worthington said.