For Immediate Release
April 25, 2009
Ropp, Segal honored as 2009 season concludes on Senior Day
The Red Devils set a new school record for strikeouts in a season and jumped out to a 6-1 lead in game one, but they could not stop the Fontbonne University Griffins from extending their winning streak to seven games on Senior Day in Eureka Saturday. Fontbonne scored 15 unanswered runs in taking the SLIAC doubleheader by scores of 8-6 and 8-0.
Amy Scammahorn (Decatur, Ill./Warrensburg-Latham) and Cathy Kalnicky (Bolingbrook, Ill./Plainfield) each had two hits and two runs scored as Eureka (10-22, 4-10) raced out to a 6-1 lead after the first two stanzas of the first game. Playing her final games in a Eureka uniform, senior Nicole Ropp (Minonk, Ill./Fieldcrest) joined in the fun, recording two RBIs along with Kalnicky.
Six of Eureka's 11 hits on the day came in the first two frames. Allie Trainer (Manito, Ill./Midwest Central) and Carissa Alig (Metamora, Ill./HS) each singled and crossed the plate safely helping Eureka get off to a fast start.
Fontbonne (18-16, 9-3 SLIAC) kept the pressure on the Red Devils, however. The Griffins recorded 12 singles, one double and eight stolen bases to overcome the five-run deficit. Fontbonne pulled to within 6-3 after three, 6-4 after four and tied the game in the fifth. The deadlock was broken in the top of the sixth as Amanda Beaver knocked in an unearned run with a two-out base hit. The Griffins added an insurance tally in the seventh on another two-out hit.
Anastasia Hibbeler tossed four scoreless innings of relief for Fontbonne to earn the win. She retired the final seven batters she faced in preserve the lead.
Eureka entered the game 10 strikeouts away from the school record for strikeouts in a season of 135 set in 2008. Starter Kelsey Brandt (Morton, Ill./HS) chose a great time to go for a career-high for strikeouts, setting down seven on strikes through 4.1 innings pitched. She allowed six runs (four earned) on eight hits and two walks. Abby Segal (Peoria, Ill./Limestone), the only other senior on the Eureka squad besides Ropp, entered the game in the fifth inning, and proceeded to strikeout six opposing hitters to eclipse the former record by the end of the first game.
The 13 strikeouts in the game marked a season-high. The last time Eureka pitchers fanned at least 13 hitters in a game was April 7, 2008, a span of 45 contests.
Despite an injured hand, Segal marched on to a complete game in the nightcap. She added one more strikeout to the team total, which ended at 139, four more than the previous record. Segal finished her career with 174 strikeouts in just two seasons at Eureka. She ranks sixth on the career strikeouts list for EC. She will also go down as the second toughest pitcher to get a hit against in team history. Segal ended her career with an opponents' batting average of .242, just three points off the school record of .239 posted by EC Hall of Famer Amy Mulvaney.
Game two was scoreless over the first 3.5 frames, but Eureka was never able to solve Hibbeler, who pitched nine shutout innings for Fontbonne. The Griffins plated six runs in the fourth and two more in the fifth to take the game 8-0.
Scammahorn and Tomi Tapper (East Peoria, Ill./HS) accounted for Eureka's two hits in the nightcap. It was the first time the Red Devils had been shutout in 11 contests. They raised their team batting average 41 points over the final month of the season. They also turned 15 double plays on the year. Eureka was ranked fifth in the country in double plays in the most recent NCAA rankings.
Eureka coach Stacey Sparks will announce awards from the season at the Annual E-Tribe Spring Sports Banquet, which is set for 6:00 pm on Wednesday, May 6 in the Terrill Rooms of the Cerf Center.
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