Eastern Illinois softball closed out their weekend road trip in Nashville with a sweep of Tennessee State in Sunday’s doubleheader. The Panthers earned a run-rule victory over the Tigers in the first game Sunday by a 12-4 score in six innings before shutting out TSU in game two 4-0.
With the wins the Panthers improved to 19-24 overall and 13-6 in OVC play while TSU fell to 10-39 and 3-18.
April Markowski led the way for EIU at the plate finishing the day 4-for-6 with a triple, four runs scored, and one RBI.
Kayla Bear tied the all-time freshman record at EIU for stolen bases going 3-for-3 in stolen base attempts on the day. Bear also had two hits, two runs scored, and two RBIs.
Michelle Rogers and Jessica Wireman both recorded wins on the mound as Rogers earned her second shutout of the season in game two against the Tigers.
The Panthers got on the board early in game one in the top of the first marking the sixth game in a row EIU has scored a run in the first inning.
Bear opened the game with an infield single before recording her first stolen base of the day to get into scoring position. Katie Watson then brought her around to score with an RBI double to left center field to put EIU up 1-0.
After Markowski successfully reached first base on an infield single, Tori Johnson recorded her first RBIs of the season driving Watson and Markowski home with a single up the middle.
EIU continued to add to their 3-0 lead in the third inning as Amber Toenyes hit her first career triple down the left field line to make it 5-0. After Toenyes’ triple Tennessee State brought in Lauren Woodard to replace Lauren Powell on the mound. The Panthers made a substitution of their own bringing in Amber Matchett to pinch run for Toenyes. Johnson brought Matchett in to score on the next at-bat with a single to left field to make it 6-0.
The Panthers utilized their solid base running in the fourth inning to extend their lead. Ashlynne Paul opened the inning with a single to left field before being replaced by Taylor Monahan who came in to pinch run.
After Monahan stole second Jennette Isaac advanced her to third base following a ground out. Monahan scored on the next at-bat thanks to an RBI bunt from Bear. Bear eventually stole second and third base before Haylee Beck brought her home to score on another bunt to make it 8-0.
Beck went on to steal second base before Markowski hit a single up the middle to bring her around and give EIU a 9-0 lead before the inning came to a close.
Tennessee State finally got on the board in the bottom of the fourth inning after the Tigers Erica O’Kane hit a double to left field to score Lindsey Burgess from second base and make it 9-1. The Tigers added three more runs off singles hit up the middle to end the inning down 9-4.
EIU made it 10-4 in the fifth inning as a sacrifice fly from Bear scored Mady Poulter from third base.
The Panthers put the final nail in the coffin in the top of the sixth inning as Johnson singled to left center to score Markowski and Watson from second and third base.
Wireman closed out the game for EIU by striking out the final two batters to give the Panthers the 12-4 run-rule victory in six innings. Wireman finished the game with 10 strikeouts thrown in her six innings of work.
Johnson finished the game 3-for-4 at the plate with five RBIs.
It took a little longer for the Panthers to score in the second game of the day against Tennessee State.
It wasn’t until the fourth inning when EIU got on the board as Markowski hit a lead-off triple to right center field. Poulter broke the 0-0 deadlock on the next at-bat with a sacrifice bunt scoring Markowski from third and giving the Panthers a 1-0 lead.
Andrea Roberts extended EIU’s lead on the next at-bat with a bases clearing single to left center field to make it 3-0. Monahan made her second appearance of the day pinch running for Roberts as Kaitlyn Crossen stepped up to bat replacing Isaac.
After Monahan stole second base Crossen ripped a single down the left field line to bring Monahan around to score and make it 4-0.
That would prove to be all EIU needed as Rogers and the Panther defense recorded the shutout to sweep TSU in Sunday’s doubleheader. Rogers recorded four strikeouts in her win on the mound.
Roberts finished the game 2-for-3 at the plate with two RBIs.