For Immediate Release
March 21, 2009
Brandt's shutout, 6 Ks flatten Rockford in 8-0 Eureka victory
Eureka College posted season-highs in hits and runs scored and Kelsey Brandt (Morton, Ill./HS) pitched 8.2 shut out innings for the Red Devils in a non-conference doubleheader split versus Rockford College Saturday. Eureka scored eight runs on eight hits to win its first home game of the year 8-0 in the opener, but saw the Regents overcome a two run deficit with a three-run rally in the fifth in a 6-5 Rockford win in the nightcap.
Brandt recorded her fourth career complete game shutout in game one, tossing a three-hitter with one walk and six strikeouts. The six strikeouts tied a career-high for Brandt, who has matched that total five other times in her career. Her defense also helped keep Rockford (6-6) off the board in both of the Regents' scoring chances. Rockford had runners on second and third in the second inning, but Brandt induced a come-backer, and gunned down the runner at home.
The Regents lost another runner at the plate in the sixth when Brandt fielded a ground ball and threw behind the runner at third base, who was eventually tagged out after a brief rundown.
Eureka (2-10) took a 2-0 lead in the opening stanza. The big play of the inning did not come at the plate, but rather on the bases as Carissa Alig (Metamora, Ill./HS) and Amy Scammahorn (Decatur, Ill./Warrensburg-Latham) pulled off a double steal with no outs. The throw to third in an attempt to catch Alig stealing went into left field allowing the first EC run of the contest. Scammahorn later was brought in by an RBI double hit by Cathy Kalnicky (Bolingbrook, Ill./Plainfield).
The Red Devils seemed content to sit back and watch Brandt mow down the Regents with just a two run cushion for some time, but they removed all doubt with a six run outburst in the sixth to polish the contest off by the mercy rule.
Kalnicky and Nicole Ropp (Minonk, Ill./Fieldcrest) each smacked their second hits of the game to put runners on second and third to begin the rally. Jill Doty (Metamora, Ill./HS) followed Ropp's double with one of her own to make the score 3-0 in favor of Eureka. A pair of wild pitches allowed Ropp and Steph Hatfield (Normal, Ill./West), who reached base via one of the three walks issued in the frame, to cross the plate. Then after a walk filled the bases, Tomi Tapper (East Peoria, Ill./HS) lined a bases-clearing double to left center, giving her three runs batted in on the play and Eureka an 8-0 win.
In game two, the Red Devils scored in each of the first four innings to build a 5-3 lead, but stranded 10 runners on base and watched Rockford rally for a 6-5 comeback victory. The Regents, who went a potent 3-for-5 with runners in scoring position, left three on base.
Rockford landed the first punch with two runs in the top of the first only to see Eureka chip away with single tallies in the first three innings to grab a 3-2 lead. The Red Devils got the lead-off hitter on base all three innings, resulting in a run each time.
Alig led off the first with a double and came home on a sacrifice fly hit by Tapper. In the second, Ropp led off with a single, her third hit of the day, and used aggressive base running to score from second on an infield hit by Erika Thomas (East Peoria, Ill./HS). Scammahorn drew a walk in the third, stole second and scored when Kalnicky singled down the first base line.
The Regents tied the game in the fourth, but committed two errors in the home-half of the frame, giving Eureka two runs and a 5-3 lead. The first two EC hitters were retired, but Scammahorn walked, Tapper singled, and they both crossed the plate on Rockford miscues.
The Regents recovered quickly, however. Aletha Cunningham, who pitched all 13 innings on the day for Rockford, hit a two-run single with one out to put her team in front 6-5. Brandt was then summoned from the Eureka bullpen. She immediately got out of the fifth with a double play, and went on to quiet the Regent bats over the final two frames as well.
It ended up being too late to save Eureka though. The Red Devils mounted a threat in their last at bat as Ropp reached on an error and Doty singled to left to begin the seventh, but a strikeout and two ground outs stranded the tying run on third base. Seven Red Devils recorded a hit in the game. Tapper was the only EC player with a multi-hit game, going 2-for-3 with a run and RBI. Scammahorn scored two runs in the finale and four runs total on the day.
Eureka will next travel to Greenville College for a non-conference doubleheader Wednesday, March 25. First pitch is scheduled for 4:00 pm.
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