For Immediate Release
Softball -- March 12, 2012
Eureka Softball Falls Twice on Opening Day
NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. – The Eureka College softball team opened its 2012 season on Monday at the National Collegiate Sports Invitational, dropping a 7-4 decision to Robert Morris-Springfield in the opener and a 10-2 score to Suffolk (Mass.) in five innings during the nightcap at Central Park in North Myrtle Beach, S.C.
RMU took advantage of Eureka’s defensive woes in the second inning of the opener, scoring three times behind a pair of EC errors to build a 4-0 lead. A walk and a double set the stage for LaShay Rodeffer, whose sacrifice bunt attempt was misplayed to allow Marena McGraw to score for a 2-0 advantage. Julie Waite later scored when the EC middle infield misplayed a stolen base attempt and Megan Smith drove home the final run of the frame with an RBI double to left field to lead 4-0. The final two runs of the inning were unearned.
After RMU stretched its lead to 6-0 with two more unearned runs in the bottom of the fourth inning, the Red Devils pushed their first run across. Junior shortstop Jaylynn Stewart (Taylorville, Ill./Taylorville H.S.) started the rally with a one-out double into the left-center field gap. She later moved to third base on an illegal pitch from Waite and scored on when senior third baseman Carissa Alig (Metamora, Ill./Metamors H.S.) ripped an RBI single up the middle. The Eagles got the run back on Smith’s sacrifice fly in the bottom half of the inning.
A pair of errors by the Eagles in the top of the sixth inning put two runners on base in front of freshman pitcher Karson Gragert (Georgetown, Ill./Georgetown-Ridge Farm H.S.), who steered an RBI single into left field to score sophomore catcher Emily Campbell (Pontiac, Ill./Pontiac H.S.) for a 7-2 deficit. Senior right fielder Heather Flanigan (Streator, Ill./Fieldcrest H.S.) added an RBI groundout before another RMU error scored Gragert to trim the EC deficit to 7-4.
Eureka brought the tying run to the plate in its final at-bat thanks to a pair of walks issued by Waite, but a groundout ended the Red Devils’ threat and stretched the Red Devils losing streak in season openers to four.
Alig and Gragert each compiled two hits and drove in a run to pace the EC offense. Gragert settled in after a rough start in the circle and ultimately allowed four earned runs over 6.0 innings in her collegiate debut. Lindley went 2-for-3 with a pair of RBI to lead the Eagles.
In game two, Suffolk used a six-run third inning to open up a 7-0 lead. The Red Devils were plagued by four errors in the frame, allowing Erin McAndrews to deliver the big blow of the inning with a two-run triple for a 3-0 lead. Samantha McGilvray, Mandi Thornton and Liz Galvin added run-scoring hits later in the inning.
After the deficit swelled to 10-0, Eureka got on the board in the fourth when senior center fielder Sara Hamilton doubled down the left field line and later scored on a misplayed ground ball in the Suffolk infield. Stewart tacked on an RBI single one inning later, but the offense wasn’t enough to extend the game beyond the fifth inning.
Sophomore left fielder Ashley Segerstrom (LeRoy, Ill./LeRoy H.S.) joined Hamilton with two hits to anchor the EC offense in game two. Only five of the 10 runs allowed by junior starting pitcher Sarah Jesse (Mackinaw, Ill./Bloomington H.S.) were earned. She struck out two.
Sarah Chasse, Nicole Rosa and Nikki Cignarella each smashed out two hits for the Rams. Chasse allowed five hits and one earned run over 5.0 innings to earn the victory in the pitching circle.
The Red Devils will continue their eight-game road swing in the Palmetto State with two more non-conference games on Tuesday. Eureka will play Lycoming (Pa.) at 10:30 a.m. CT and Arcadia (Pa.) at 2:30 p.m. CT.
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