EC Softball continues to roll, picks up two more victories Monday

EC Softball continues to roll, picks up two more victories Monday

NORTH MRYTLE BEACH, S.C. – The Eureka College softball team combined to score 22 runs on 25 hits Monday, igniting the Red Devils to a 4-3 victory over the Principia Panthers and followed up with an 18-7 triumph over Keystone in day two of the Fastpitch Dreams Spring Classic in North Myrtle Beach, S.C.

Eureka improves to 4-0 overall for the first time since the 1996 season.

Principia kept Eureka's bats in check in  the morning contest over the first two innings of play until junior Lexi Litwiller (Eureka, Ill./Eureka [Lincoln College]) lined one to right in the third to bring home sophomore Krysten Wallace (Bartonville, Ill./Limestone).

The Red Devils pushed their lead to 3-0 in the fourth behind a pair of unearned runs courtesy of a throwing error by the Principia pitcher.

Eureka tacked on the game-winner in the following inning, when another throwing error by the PC pitcher allowed Litwiller to score all the way from firstbase.

The Panthers refused to go down without a fight, scoring three runs in the sixth to slice the deficit to 4-3.

Principia began the seventh inning with a stand-up triple from their leadoff batter. But a fielder's choice in the following at-bat caught the runner trying to score and a play at the plate ended in Eureka's favor, eliminating the game-tying run.

Sophomore Kali George (East Peoria, Ill./East Peoria) collected her second win of the season, going the distance tossing all seven frames. George scattered five hits, walked four, and struck out two, while surrendering just one earned run.

The Keystone Giants jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the first inning of game two, but Eureka continued to pound the softball, scoring at least a run in every inning of play.

Falling into a 3-0 hole, Eureka climbed their way out in the bottom half of the first when junior Bridget Bankes (East Peoria, Ill./East Peoria [Heartland]) cleared the bases with a double to left field. Freshman Madaline Kane (Havana, Ill./Havana) smacked her first collegiate hit, a single center, scoring Bankes. Kane, who started her first collegiate contest, finished 3-for-3 at the plate.

Eureka's offense threw up another crooked number in the second inning, platting five runs and pushing their lead to 9-3. Freshman Kerrigan Dura (Brimfield, Ill./Brimfield) collected three RBIs in the inning, coming to bat twice and provided a double in her first at-bat and triple in the next.

After adding another run in the third to build a comfortable 10-3 edge, Eureka put the final touches on one of the largest offensive performances in recent memory with an 8-run fourth inning. Freshman Laken Egenes (Bloomington, Ill./Normal Community) crushed her first collegiate hit, a double to center, scoring two EC runners. Later in the inning Litwiller pushed three runners across with a bases-clearing triple to center.

The Red Devils smashed 17 hits over four innings in game two, platting a season-high 18 runners to cap a two-day span that saw the Red Devils engineer 46 runs. Dura, Litwiller, and Bankes, the heart of Eureka's lineup, collected four RBIs apiece. Through four games Eureka's team triple-slash line reads .464 batting average, .549 on-base percentage and .709 slugging percentage.

Junior Rachel Patterson (Tremont, Ill./Tremont [Illinois Central]) picked up her second victory, firing 4.0 innings while allowing two hits, three earned runs, five walks, and striking out four Giant hitters.

Eureka aims for a 5-0 start Tuesday when action continues with two more games at the Fastpitch Dreams Spring Classic in North Myrtle Beach.  The Red Devils will begin the day with a 10:30 a.m. CST rematch against Sarah Lawrence followed by a 2:30 p.m. CST contest against Albright.