The Eastern Kentucky softball team christened the opening of the new stadium and field on April 8th with a double header against SIUE. The ceremonial first pitch was thrown out by none other than EKU President Michael Benson, and the new stadium was officially open.
Game one featured Colonels picther Alex Sallberg going up against a 17 win Haley Chambers-Book for SIUE, and the Colonel’s bats were non-existent for the entire game. Eastern could manage to get two hits off of the Cougars’ star pitcher, as she struck out thirteen Colonels in the process. SIUE could not manage a run until the third inning with Eastern’s defense holding strong under pitcher Alex Sallberg. In the third inning the Cougars blasted a three-run shot to left center-field and that was it for the Colonels as they could not squeak by any runs while SIUE lit up the board for eight more, winning by a score of 11-0 in the first game at Gertrude Hood Field.
Game two of the double header saw a more action packed offense from the Colonels as their first game seemed to be a wake up call for them. Eastern started off the game hot by taking a quick 2-1 lead in the first thanks to a two RBI double from second baseman Hannah Clark. The Cougars would answer by scoring two runs in the third, taking a 3-2 lead. But Hannah Clark seemed to have an answer for SIUE this game as she hit a two-run home-run to center field to give the Colonels the lead again, which would be stretched out to a 5-3 lead by the end of the fourth thanks to an error on SIUE. In the fifth inning is where SIUE put their rally caps on and halted the Colonels’ attempt at one game split in the series, with the Cougars putting up four unanswered runs to eventually secure them the win, and the sweep of the doubleheader.
April 9th saw the Colonels host their second straight doubleheader at Gertrude Hood Field, this time against first place Eastern Illinois. Game one saw the Colonels get down in a quick 3-0 hole credit to a two-run homer in the second by EIU. The Colonels would answer in the second, putting up two runs and cutting the lead to one, which is the closest it would get during the game, as Eastern Illinois shut down the Colonels for the rest of the game, not allowing another run. A highlight of the first game was Paige Murphy’s rob of a potential EIU home run that was SportsCenter Top 10 worthy and one one of the netter grabs of any player this season.
Game two was just as action packed as the first one as EIU took a quick 1-0 lead in the third off of a tag-up. Eastern would retaliate and put up two of their own runs in the third inning. Those two runs proved to be the difference in the game as the Colonels would take the second game of the doubleheader behind stellar pitcher from Mollie Paulick who got her sixth win of the season.