By ASHLEY OWENS
Eastern went on a home run frenzy Feb. 20 to the 22 in the Eagle Classic ll, bringing home two victories out of a five-game series.
The Colonels opened the classic with an 8-1 loss against North Carolina State University after falling behind early in the game. North Carolina State (7-6) started tallying runs fast, scoring one in the first inning.
The next seven runs came in the second inning, following behind the lead of North Carolina State’s Meredith Burroughs. Burroughs knocked out a three-run home run to move past the Colonels.
Eastern was able to push a run across in the fifth inning, but was unable to cover any more ground in the loss.
Day two of the classic put the Colonels in a double header, where Eastern first recorded a 6-3 win against Georgia Southern University with a season-high 12 hits in extra innings.
Eastern’s first run came early in the first inning. In her first collegiate home run, senior Darcy Schueler brought in another run for the fourth inning. Freshman Sarah Jackson proved herself in the fifth inning with a two-out RBI single to give Eastern an even larger lead.
Georgia Southern (2-11) kept Eastern’s pace, however, with runs of its own in the third and seventh inning. That was until the ninth and final inning when the Colonels took advantage of Georgia Southern errors to bring in three more runs.
Senior Shaylon Robb gave up just four hits in her 5.2 innings and earned her first win of the season.
A number of hits doomed the Colonels against North Carolina University, where North Carolina (13-6) handed Eastern a 7-0 loss in the final half of the double header.
North Carolina had a total of 16 hits against the Colonels and tallied at least two hits in almost every inning. The first run was in the first inning, while North Carolina added four more runs in the third inning.
Another two runs in the fourth and fifth inning made the score unreachable as Eastern received its second loss of the classic.
The Colonels continued its back-and-forth pattern with a
9-6 victory of Bradley University (2-12). Once again, Jackson stepped up to the pressure of the game and busted a grand slam in the fourth inning to give Eastern a 4-1 lead.
The grand slam was Jackson’s first collegiate home run.
Fellow freshman Johnkyna Alston widened the gap in the fifth inning with a solo home run.
The Colonels took a 9-7 lead in the sixth inning when senior Shannon McQueen hit an RBI single. Bradley retaliated with a run of its own to come within one run of the Colonels. The comeback was short-lived, however, and Robb earned her second victory in 3.1 innings of relief.
Eastern took another loss from North Carolina State in the fifth and final game of the classic.
North Carolina State put two runs on the board in the second inning and added two more in the fourth inning with a two-out, two-run home run.
Jackson hit her second home run of the weekend with a two-run home run in the fifth inning. The blast was not enough for the Colonels, however, and North Carolina State scored one more in the fifth inning for a 5-2 victory.
Eastern (5-6) is back in action Feb. 27 to March 3 in the Frost Classic. The Colonels play teams such as South Dakota State, Chattanooga, Alabama A & M, Purdue and Wright State.