For Immediate Release
Softball -- April 13, 2011
Softball Splits Doubleheader at Knox
GALESBURG, Ill. – Eureka College junior pitcher Sarah Jesse (Mackinaw, Ill./Bloomington H.S.) won her fifth straight pitching decision and scored the first run of the game in extra innings, helping the Red Devils move over the .500 mark for the first time since the 2008 season in Eureka’s 2-1 victory over Knox in the opener of Wednesday’s non-conference doubleheader in Galesburg, Ill. The Prairie Fire earned an 11-3 win in game two to salvage the split.
After neither squad could push a run across in the first seven innings in game one, Jesse collected her second hit of the afternoon to lead off the inning and start the Eureka (9-9) rally. She quickly moved to second after a base hit from freshman right fielder Caty Eeten (Eureka, Ill./Eureka H.S./Illinois Central).
After a sacrifice bunt moved both runners into scoring position, junior second baseman Tomi Tapper (East Peoria, Ill./East Peoria H.S.) broke the scoreless tie with a single to score Jesse from third. Junior center fielder Sara Hamilton (Washington, Ill./Washington H.S./Illinois Central) provided further insurance when her RBI single scored Eeten, giving the visitors a 2-0 lead.
Knox (3-16) threatened in the bottom half of the inning, putting runners on the corners with nobody out after a leadoff single and a Eureka error. Kaylah Murphy followed with an RBI single to cut the Knox deficit in half, 2-1, but Jesse got out of the jam thanks to a fielder’s choice and a groundout, locking down the Red Devils’ 2-1 victory.
Hamilton led all players in game one with three hits, while Eeten and Jesse each hit safely twice. In the pitching circle, Jesse fired all 8.0 innings, allowing only five hits and one earned run while striking out five.
Eureka fell behind 2-0 in the nightcap before Eeten smashed her second collegiate home run in the top of the third inning to cut the deficit in half at 2-1. The Prairie Fire answered with three more runs in its half of the inning, stretching the lead to 5-1.
Eeten added a two-run single in the fourth to keep the Red Devils in the game before Knox put the game out of reach with a four-run fifth inning. The hosts received an RBI single from Beth McRill and took advantage of two walks, two wild pitches and two passed balls in the inning to stretch the lead to 9-3. Knox added two more runs in the sixth, the final run scoring on a wild pitch, to earn the victory via the eight-run rule.
Eeten finished the nightcap 3-for-4 with three RBI and a run scored. Tapper and freshman Emily Campbell (Pontiac, Ill./Pontiac H.S.) chipped in with two hits apiece.
The Red Devils will return to St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play this Saturday, putting their undefeated 6-0 league record on the line at defending SLIAC champion Webster in a 1 p.m. doubleheader in St. Louis, Mo.
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