For Immediate Release
Softball -- March 21, 2012
North Park Sweeps Eureka Softball
CHICAGO, Ill. – The Eureka College softball team carried a three-run advantage into the seventh inning of the opener of Wednesday’s non-conference doubleheader at North Park, but the host Vikings scored three times in the seventh and later won the game in extra innings, 5-4, at the Holmgren Complex in Chicago, Ill. The Vikings shut out the Red Devils in the nightcap, 7-0, to earn the doubleheader sweep.
Eureka (2-8) fell behind in the opener but promptly recovered to force a 1-1 tie. A pair of singles and a fielder’s choice loaded the bases for senior right fielder Heather Flanigan (Streator, Ill./Fieldcrest H.S.), who walked with the bases loaded to force home junior second baseman Kelli Dunne (Peoria, Ill./Richwoods H.S./Illinois Central) and knot the score at 1-1.
Dunne’s next at-bat in the top of the fifth inning gave the Red Devils their first and only lead of the afternoon. Back-to-back singles from seniors Carissa Alig (Metamora, Ill./Metamora H.S.) and Sara Hamilton (Washington, Ill./Washington H.S./Illinois Central) set the stage for Dunne, who ripped her second career home run over the left field fence for a 4-1 cushion.
The Red Devils protected their three-run lead until North Park’s final at-bat of regulation. Katie Anderson singled to center field, NPU’s third single of the inning, scoring Paige Massa to cut the deficit to 4-2. After a groundout to the pitcher left the Vikings down to their final out, Meagan Bura drilled a two-run double to center to tie the score at 4-4.
Eureka put the go-ahead run in scoring position in the top of the eighth, but couldn’t push the tally across. The Vikings won the opener in the bottom half of the inning when Sonya Le’s two-out RBI double scored Massa for the 5-4 walk-off victory.
The home run from Dunne was part of a 3-for-3 effort and was Eureka’s only extra-base of the doubleheader. Alig, Hamilton and sophomore center fielder Ashley Segerstrom (LeRoy, Ill./LeRoy H.S.) tacked on two hits apiece to aid Eureka’s offensive effort. Junior starting pitcher Sarah Jesse (Mackinaw, Ill./Bloomington H.S.) pitched all 7.2 innings in the circle for the visitors before suffering her fourth loss of the campaign.
North Park (8-4) wasted little time taking a big lead in game two, scoring five times in the first inning for a 5-0 advantage. Le’s RBI double to score Massa proved to be the game-winner for the Vikings. Bura and Casey Latal tacked on RBI singles in the fourth inning to stretch the lead to 7-0.
Alig and Segerstrom singled for the Red Devils in the nightcap, Eureka’s only two hits of the contest. Freshman starter Karson Gragert (Georgetown, Ill./Georgetown-Ridge Farm H.S.) allowed six earned runs over 6.0 innings in the loss. She struck out two.
The Red Devils will play their home opener and begin the 16-game St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference schedule when Westminster visits Saturday for a 1 p.m. doubleheader.
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