WEBSTER GROVES, Mo. – The Eureka College softball team played its third St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference doubleheader in as many days on Sunday, landing on the wrong end of a pair of league decisions with Webster in a 6-4 setback in game one and a 12-8 defeat in game two in Webster Groves, Mo.
After a first-inning sacrifice fly gave WU a 1-0 lead in game one, Eureka pulled even with an unearned run in the second inning. Senior third baseman Bridget Bankes (East Peoria, Ill./East Peoria H.S.) reached on a two-base error to lead off the inning and later scored on an RBI single from freshman Courtney Kurtz (Minooka, Ill./Minooka H.S.) for a 1-1 tie.
The Gorloks seized control of the opener thanks to five-run third inning. Katly Garza drilled a two-out, three-run home run to stretch Webster's lead to 6-1.
The Red Devils got a run back in the fifth when freshman Erin Smith (Dunlap, Ill./Dunlap H.S.) was hit by a pitch with the bases load for a 6-2 deficit. Freshman Morgan Osborn (Washington, Ill./Washington H.S.) and junior Kali George (East Peoria, Ill./East Peoria H.S.) tacked on RBI hits in the sixth to pull EC within 6-4.
Despite a one-out single from Bankes that brought the tying run to the plate in the seventh, the Red Devils couldn't find the equalizer and their game-one comeback bid fell short against WU reliever Chelsea Thornley.
Senior Lexi Litwiller (Eureka, Ill./Eureka H.S./Lincoln), sophomore Kerrigan Dura (Edwards, Ill./Brimfield H.S.) and Osborn collected two hits apiece in the opener. Only two of the six runs to score against George in the circle were earned.
In the nightcap, Eureka put the pressure on the hosts early with a three-run first inning. Litwiller started the rally with a leadoff single, ultimately scoring on Dura's base hit through the right side. Osborn added a two-run single and the EC lead was 3-0.
Webster responded by scoring multiple runs in each of the first three innings. Kayla Day and Emily Kolisch drove in runs in the first. Day eventually gave the Gorloks the lead in the second inning, 4-3, when her RBI single came as part of a three-run outburst. The WU advantage swelled to 7-3 after four innings.
The Red Devils plated two in the fifth thanks to an RBI infield single by Madaline Kane (Havana, Ill./Havana H.S.) and another run scoring on a WU fielding error. The Gorloks promptly answered yet again, sending 10 hitters to the plate in the bottom of the fifth to extend their lead to 11-5.
Kane doubled home a pair of runs in the sixth and Bankes followed with an RBI single to make it 11-8, but the EC rally wasn't enough. Abby Burroughs closed the scoring in the bottom of the sixth when her solo home run pushed Webster to a 12-8 cushion.
Dura had three of the Red Devils' 11 hits in game two. Osborn and Kane each doubled as part of a two-hit effort. Kane finished with three RBI.
Eureka will break from SLIAC play this Tuesday when NAIA Harris-Stowe travels to Eureka for a 2 p.m. doubleheader.