Eastern’s softball team took a hard hit at the UNLV Rebel Classic where the Colonels dropped five straight games in the series. Eastern started strong in each game, but late runs from opponents doomed the Colonels.
The Colonels opened the classic against the University of Houston, where the second inning proved to be the game changer. Junior Sarah Fobbs started Eastern off with a solo home run in the first inning for a quick lead.
Houston (12-14) scored seven runs in the second inning, however, and then another run in the fifth to put the game out of the Colonels’ reach.
Senior pitcher Leanna Pittsenbarger took the loss for Eastern in her 2.2 innings.
The University of California, Santa Barbara handed Eastern its second loss despite Eastern’s attempt at a late comeback.
Senior Shannon McQueen’s two-out RBI single put the Colonels ahead but that lead didn’t last long as UC Santa Barbara (6-19) put up two runs in the third inning to take the lead. UC Santa Barbara added two more runs in the fourth inning then three in the fifth and sixth to widen the gap between the Colonels.
Eastern tried to come back in its side of the sixth inning with a two-run double from freshman Johnkyria Alston, but the short rally wasn’t enough.
No. 16 University of California had the momentum the majority of the third game where the Colonels fell 9-2 to the nationally ranked team.
California pushed four runs across early in the first inning before putting two ore on the board in the second and two in the fifth. California added three more in the fourth and sixth innings to lead the Colonels.
Alston hit a two-run double in the fifth but the Colonels weren’t able to get behind Alston’s rally attempt.
Eastern led halfway through the showdown against host University of Nevada, Las Vegas but a Nevada comeback put gave Eastern its fourth consecutive loss of the weekend.
Though Nevada (9-8-2) scored first, the Colonels tied the game with a run in the third inning. Freshman Sarah Jackson hit junior Kayla Joyce home in the top of the fourth inning for the lead, but Nevada then tied the game again in the bottom of the inning with its own run.
A Nevada solo run in the sixth inning ended the game, 3-2. Senior Shaylon Robb took the loss for the Colonels, throwing 5.2 innings.
The fifth and final game of the classic was Eastern’s highest scoring game and a close matchup against Iowa State University.
Iowa State (13-7) scored four runs in the top of the third innings, but Fobbs, Alston and Jackson each had an RBI in the bottom of the inning to tie the game 4-all.
Iowa State added three more runs in the fourth inning and one in the sixth to stretch Eastern’s deficit. Fobbs retaliated with a two-run homer in the bottom of the sixth inning and the Colonels added one more run in the seventh inning but couldn’t get enough runs for the lead
The Colonels (9-11, 0-0 OVC) open OVC play March 14 with a double header against Belmont University then competes in another Belmont matchup March 15, both in Nashville.