EUREKA — The Eureka softball opened the 2021 spring season on the road with a doubleheader at Rose-Hulman on Sunday.
In the team's first competition in 367 days, the Red Devils got outgunned by the Fightin' Engineers, 9-7 and 11-4.
Game 1: Rose-Hulman 9, Eureka 7
After two scoreless innings, Eureka fell behind the Fightin' Engineers after a five-run third.
The team then got three back in the top of the fifth. Jordan Heinz (Washington, Ill./Washington) drove in the first run of the season on an RBI single, and after an Allison Cagley (Fairbury, Ill./Prairie Central)) single and a Morgan Ledbetter (Hanna City, Ill./Elmwood)) walk loaded the bases, Bailey Tibbetts (Pekin, Ill./Pekin) knocked a 2-RBI single to make it 5-3.
In the sixth, however, Rose-Hulman's Nicole Lang delivered a grand slam to give the home team a 9-3 lead.
Eureka scored four runs in the top of the seventh to cut the lead to two. Raelyn Payne (Lexington, Ill./Lexington) led off with a single, Heinz reached on a fielder's choice and Cagley doubled to set up a Ledbetter for a 2-RBI single. Two batters later, Remi Ferguson (East Peoria, Ill./East Peoria) mashed her first home run as a Red Devil – a two-run shot that kept EC's comeback hopes alive – but Rose-Hulman got a groundout to end the inning.
The Red Devils recorded 12 hits and 7 RBIs. Cagley went 3-for-4 with a double, Ferguson went 2-for-4 with the two-run homer and Tibbetts had a pair of hits as well.
Tibbetts also pitched 2 2/3 innings in the circle, allowing five runs on seven hits and three walks with one strikeout. Torre Koontz (Lakewood, Ill./Shelbyville) pitched 3 1/3 innings, allowing four runs on four hits and one walk.
Game 2: Rose-Hulman 11, Eureka 4
Eureka tallied four runs on eight hits in Game 2, but the Red Devils couldn't find a way to piece together a rally. The team scored one run in the first, third, fourth and fifth innings.
Rose-Hulman put two on the board in the first, third and fifth before racking up five in the sixth.
Payne went 3-for-3 with a pair of doubles. Ferguson homered for the second time of the day in the fourth inning.
Cagley drove in two, lining out to score Payne in the third and singling to drive her in in the fifth. Ledbetter drove in the first run of the game with a single in the first inning.
The Red Devils (0-2) will host Rockford in a non-conference doubleheader at Sweitzer Field on Wednesday at 12 p.m.