NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. -- The Eureka College softball team suffered the second and third losses of its season-opening trip to the Fastpitch Dreams Spring Classic in North Myrtle Beach, S.C., a 10-4 defeat to Eastern Mennonite (Va.) and a 7-4 setback to Penn State Harrisburg on Tuesday.
In the opener versus EMU, four of the first six batters in the first inning hit doubles to help the Royals build a 4-0 lead. Eureka promptly answered in the home half of the frame, taking advantage of three walks, two wild pitches and a passed ball to score three times. Madaline Kane (Havana, Ill./Havana H.S.) had the only run-scoring hit of the inning.
The Royals plated a pair of runs on back-to-back two-out hits in the third inning to extend the lead to 6-3. EC responded with an unearned run in the bottom of the inning. EMU slowly extended its lead from that point forward, adding runs in the fourth, fifth and seventh innings. The Red Devils were limited to two hits over the final four innings.
Kane went 2-for-4 with the Red Devils' only RBI of the game. EC totaled five hits in the loss, four of which were singles.
Penn State Harrisburg broke a scoreless tie in the second game of the day when Emily Parmer's single up the middle of the diamond plated Jenna Rupaku for a 1-0 lead. A lineout and a popout ended the jam. Eureka looked poised to even the score in the bottom of the inning, but Penn State Harrisburg avoided damage when a pair of an EC baserunners were retired on a fly ball caught in shallow center field and an ensuing 8-4-3 triple play.
The Red Devils put the tying run on base again in the fifth but couldn't push the equalizer across. Penn State Harrisburg put the contest out of reach with a six-run sixth inning. The biggest blow of the frame was a bases-loaded triple from Kayla Seyfer with two outs.
Down 7-0, Eureka threatened with four runs in the bottom of the seventh. Two walks, two singles and a fielding error fueled the comeback, but an out on the base paths stymied the rally and left the tying run in the on-deck circle as the game ended.
Ashanti Pollard (Country Club Hills, Ill./Rich Central H.S.), Krysten Wallace (Bartonville, Ill./Limestone H.S.) and Kerrigan Dura (Edwards, Ill./Brimfield H.S.) combined for six of EC's nine hits from the top three spots in the batting order. Dura drove in two.
Eureka will break from competition on Wednesday before playing the final two games of its trip on Thursday. The Red Devils will take on Chatham at 8:30 a.m. CST before playing their eighth and final game of the event versus Mary Washington at 10:30 a.m. CST.