By ASHLEY OWENS
Eastern’s softball team played April 18 and 19 in a series of home games against OVC foes Murray State University and Austin Peay State University in doubleheaders. The Colonels then traveled April 22 and competed against Northern Kentucky University in a doubleheader.
The Colonels halted a seven-game win streak for the Racers (25-21, 12-8 OVC) with the 7-0 win April 18. Junior Leanna Pittsenbarger tossed her ninth shutout and gave up just three hits. The right-hander pitched in double-figure strikeouts for the eleventh time with 13 strikeouts.
The first run of the game came from a Murray State error. Junior Lauren Mitchell crossed home plate on a missed ball and put Eastern on the scoreboard. Freshman Krislyn Campos and senior Christina Ciolek added RBI singles to push the lead up 3-0.
Ciolek had another RBI in the sixth inning to give a cushioned lead for the Colonels. Junior Shannon McQueen made an RBI single and fellow junior Katie Tackett blasted a two-run RBI in the sixth inning.
Eastern continued its run over Murray State with a 4-2 victory in game two.
The Racers grabbed the first two runs over the Colonels and entered the bottom of the fourth inning with a 2-0 lead. Eastern responded with a run of its own. Tackett came up with an RBI single to move the deficit to just one run in the fourth inning.
Senior Nicole Heitz ripped an RBI single in the fifth inning to tie the game. Mitchell carried the offense in the sixth inning. Her two-RBI double to center field put the Colonels in the lead. Mitchell went 3-for-4 overall in game two.
“We made a few adjustments,” Worthington said. “And it seems like that helped us see the ball a little bit better. Now, that has created a little bit more confidence, and with confidence I think comes better hitting.”
Pittsenbarger picked up her second win of the day after pitching for three and one-third innings. Sophomore Hayley Flynn pitched 3.2 innings and struck out four batters.
In game one against the Austin Peay Governors (25-16, 13-6 OVC) Eastern grabbed a 3-0 victory with the help of an early Governor error.
Heitz made her way around the bases on a Governor throwing error. Ciolek added an RBI double in the fifth inning to put another run on the scoreboard. Sophomore Sarah Fobbs came through with an RBI single to give the Colonels the final lead.
Pittsenbarger struck out 16 Murray State batters and gave up just two hits in the win.
An early lead was not enough for the Colonels in game two against Austin Peay. Eastern fell 8-4 in a game that saw multiple home runs.
Fobbs knocked out a three-run home run in the first inning to put Eastern at a quick 3-0 lead. Austin Peay responded, however, with a solo home run in the next inning. There were more home runs to come for the Governors.
A grand slam from Chandler Groves moved Austin Peay ahead 5-3 in the fourth inning. A three-run home run in the sixth inning put the Lady Governors at a wide five-run lead. The Colonels attempted a comeback in the bottom of the sixth, but only scrounged up one.
Freshman Alex Sallberg and Flynn each pitched 1.2 innings. Pittsenbarger stepped in to pitch 3.2 innings and took the loss for the Colonels.
Eastern defeated Northern Kentucky 7-4 in game one of the doubleheader. Pittsenbarger grabbed the win after she struck out 10 Norse (4-38) batters.
The first run was made when Tackett was hit by a wild pitch. Campos then moved past home to put the score 1-0 in the first inning.
An RBI from Campos and Ciolek in the second inning gave Eastern two more runs in the second inning. The Colonels continued with runs in the third inning when a fielding error pushed another run across the plate.
Eastern notched three more runs from Norse errors. Campos reached home on a fielder’s choice and then Ciolek and McQueen scored on a throwing error. Northern Kentucky responded with four runs of its own but the RBI single and three-RBI hit was not enough for Northern.
The Colonels dropped game two against Northern 2-1.
A one-out double put the Norse ahead by one in the second inning. McQueen tied the game up with an RBI double in the fourth inning. With two outs in the sixth inning, Northern Kentucky managed to get one more run off an RBI triple.
Junior Shaylon Robb picked up the loss after pitching six innings.
The Colonels (26-17, 13-6 OVC) head on the road at 2 p.m. April 26 and 27 to play Tennessee Tech University.