EUREKA, Ill. – Junior Lexi Litwiller (Eureka, Ill./Eureka [Lincoln College]) pounded out three hits, drove in five runs and scored three times, pacing the Eureka College softball team to an 18-5 non-conference thrashing of Knox College, Monday afternoon at Eureka Middle School in Eureka, Ill. The Red Devils rallied in game two, coming from behind to win 7-6 and take the series sweep.
The victories push Eureka's record to 12-2 overall on the season, including a 5-1 mark in Eureka, while the Prairie Fire drop to 0-10.
Knox jumped on Eureka earlier scoring a pair of runs in the top of the first. Eureka answered, platting four runs in the bottom half of the inning. Freshman Kerrigan Dura (Brimfield, Ill./Brimfield) doubled home two runs and classmate Kali George (East Peoria, Ill./East Peoria) drove in two more with the help of a fielding error from the Knox left fielder.
Eureka's lead swelled to 10-2 in the second inning highlighted by three run-scoring doubles by Dura, Litwiller and George.
The Red Devils added a run in the fourth, and used a seven-run fourth inning to increase their advantage to 18-3.
Dura, Litwiller and George all tallied three hits apiece, while Dura scored a season-high four times. Litwiller joins Dura as the second Red Devil this season to drive in five runners. Sophomore Krysten Wallace (Bartonville, Ill./Limestone) added three runs scored.
George picked up the win inside the circle in the opener, tossing 5.0 innings and surrendering four earned runs. The righty scattered six hits, struck out three and walked four.
Eureka and Knox cruised through the first three innings of game two with neither team able to get a runner across home.
The Red Devils got on board first in the home half of the fourth taking a 3-0 lead on an RBI-infield single from Wallace and two-RBI single from Dura.
The Prairie Fire burst ahead in the fifth, sending home five runners to shoot ahead, 5-3.
Trailing 6-4 in the sixth, Eureka mounted a two-out comeback, scoring three runs off three consecutive hits. Junior Bridget Bankes (East Peoria, Ill./East Peoria [Heartland]) ignited the rally with a deep double to left-center scoring Dura. Junior Rachel Patterson (Tremont, Ill./Tremont [Illinois Central]) singled up the middle to bring home Bankes and freshman Madaline Kane (Havana, Ill./Havana) drove in the winning run with a double down the left field line. Kane finished the second game 3-for-4 from the plate.
George (7-1) tallied the win in relief, firing the final 3.0 innings in the circle.
The Red Devils will continue non-conference play tomorrow with a home double header against Mount Mary University. First pitch against the Blue Angels is scheduled for 3 p.m.