NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. -- The Eureka College softball team played the final two contests of its trip to the Fastpitch Dreams Spring Classic, Thursday morning, earning a 6-0 victory over Chatham and dropping a 1-0 decision to Mary Washington. The Red Devils ended their road trip with a 4-4 overall record.
Freshman outfielder Ashanti Pollard (Country Club Hills, Ill./Rich Central H.S.) ignited the EC offense in the third inning of the opener against Chatham, drilling an inside-the-park home run for a 2-0 advantage.
The lead remained 2-0 until the Red Devils added insurance in the fourth. An RBI single by freshman outfielder Courtney Kurtz (Minooka, Ill./Minooka H.S.) made it 3-0 in front of Pollard, who was hit by a pitch and later scored on a wild pitch for a 4-0 advantage. Senior catcher Lexi Litwiller (Eureka, Ill./Eureka H.S./Lincoln) helped put the contest further out of reach, 6-0, with a two-run single later in the frame.
Reigning St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Pitcher of the Week Erin Smith (Dunlap, Ill./Dunlap H.S.) did the rest for EC. The freshman struck out six, allowed two hits and walked none in 7.0 scoreless innings. She was supported by an EC defense that didn't commit an error.
In game two versus Mary Washington, the Eagles scored the only run of the game on Amy Sykes's RBI single in the top of the fourth inning.
Eureka was limited to three hits against UMW pitcher Kara Deppe. The Red Devils loaded the bases in the first inning and pushed runners into scoring positions in the fifth and sixth innings, but were unable to push a run across.
Junior pitcher Kali George (East Peoria, Ill./East Peoria H.S.) was solid for EC, scattering eight hits and yielding only one run.
Eureka will return to central Illinois Thursday night. Neutral-site contests scheduled for Sunday in St. Louis, Mo. against Loras and Buena Vista have been canceled and will not be rescheduled. Following a 12-day break from game competition, EC will return to the diamond on Wednesday, March 22 for the home opener against Robert Morris-Springfield. The doubleheader will begin at 3 p.m.