Red Devils sweep Highlanders in conference opener

Red Devils sweep Highlanders in conference opener

EUREKA, Ill. – Eureka College senior Savanna Tapper (East Peoria, Ill./East Peoria) smacked three home runs and drove in six Thursday, sending the Red Devils to a St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference sweep of MacMurray. The Red Devils won game one, 8-5, and later claimed game two, 11-6.

Eureka improves to 16-2 overall and 2-0 in conference play and are riding an eight-game winning streak. The Highlanders fall to 1-8 and 1-3.

In game one, the Red Devils fell behind 4-1 in the second inning before a three-run blast by Tapper evened the score at 4-4. Later, junior Rachel Patterson (Tremont, Ill./Tremont [ICC]) put the host in front with a run-scoring single up the middle in the third.

Tapper clobbered her second home run of the contest, doubling Eureka's lead to 6-4 in the fourth.

MacMurray tacked on a run in the sixth, but Tapper connected on her third blast of the day, a two-run shot, giving the Red Devils an 8-5 advantage. Tapper was 3-for-4 with three home runs and six runs driven in. Tapper is the first Red Devil to blast three home runs in a single contest since Kelli Dunne sent three over the fence at Knox on April 24, 2013.

Sophomore Kali George (East Peoria, Ill./East Peoria) scattered seven hits to pick up her 11th win of the season. She gave up four earned runs and struck out a pair. The victory is George's 20th of her career.

Facing another 1-0 deficit as the Red Devils came to bat in game two, EC placed four across in the home half to race out to a 4-1 lead.

The Red Devils tacked on three runs in the second and third innings, building a sizable 10-2 edge midway through the ballgame.

Eureka tallied six doubles in the nightcap paced by freshman Kerrigan Dura (Brimfield, Ill./Brimfield) with three. Junior Lexi Litwiller (Eureka, Ill./Eureka [Lincoln College]) added two. Both Dura and Litwiller finished 3-for-3, with Litwiller driving in four runs and Dura three. Sophomore Krysten Wallace (Bartonville, Ill./Limestone) crossed home plate four times in the nightcap.

Patterson worked around nine Highlander hits and four walks to secure her seventh win in the circle. She surrendered six earned runs and struck out five.

The Red Devils will look to stay perfect in conference play Saturday with a noon double header at home against the Westminster Blue Jays.