For Immediate Release
Softball -- March 30, 2011
Red Devils Sweep MacMurray in SLIAC Opener
JACKSONVILLE, Ill. – Eureka College freshman Amanda Murphy (Manteno, Ill./Manteno H.S.) smashed her first collegiate home run and junior pitchers Sarah Jesse (Mackinaw, Ill./Bloomington H.S.) and Kelsey Cochran (Galva, Ill./Galva H.S.) each allowed only one run to pick up their first pitching victories of the season, lifting the Red Devils to a St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference doubleheader sweep at MacMurray, Wednesday afternoon in Jacksonville, Ill. Eureka won game one in six innings, 10-1, before claiming the nightcap, 4-1.
Eureka (4-6, 2-0 SLIAC) struck first in the opener. Freshman catcher Emily Campbell (Pontiac, Ill./Pontiac H.S.) ripped a one-out double to start the rally for Murphy, who gave the Red Devils a 2-0 lead with her two-run homer. Junior center fielder Sara Hamilton (Washington, Ill./Washington H.S./Illinois Central) stretched the visitors’ lead to 3-0 one inning later with a solo home run, her second long ball of the season.
MacMurray (2-11, 0-2 SLIAC) cut its deficit to 3-1 in the fifth inning on a sacrifice fly from Shelby Woodward, but Eureka promptly answered with seven runs in its next at-bat for a 10-1 lead. Caty Eeten (Eureka, Ill./Eureka H.S./Illinois Central), Tomi Tapper (East Peoria, Ill./East Peoria H.S.) and Carissa Alig (Metamora, Ill./Metamora H.S.) each recorded RBI singles during the inning, as the Highlanders made a pair of errors early in the frame to allow the Red Devils to start the big inning. MacMurray starting pitcher Jennifer Ogden also issued three bases-loaded walks to force runs home during the inning. The Red Devils held MacMurray scoreless in the bottom half of the inning to win via the eight-run rule.
Jesse was solid in the circle for the Red Devils, allowing only one run on three hits over 6.0 innings for her first victory of the season. Murphy finished the opener with three RBI, while Campbell was the only player from either squad to have a multi-hit game with a 2-for-3 showing. Eight of Eureka’s nine starters collected at least one hit, while seven different Red Devils had at least one RBI.
Batting first in the second game, MacMurray jumped in front 1-0 in the fourth inning on Woodward’s second sacrifice fly of the day, but Eureka tied the game at 1-1 in the bottom half of the inning. Campbell started the frame with her first career triple and was promptly driven home by an RBI single from Murphy.
The Red Devils took the lead for good, 2-1, on Tapper’s fourth career home run in the fifth inning. Hamilton followed with a single and later scored from first for a 3-1 advantage when Campbell’s fly ball was misplayed by the MacMurray outfield. Eureka sophomore Lauren Kao (Normal, Ill./Normal Community H.S.) provided further insurance in the sixth inning with an RBI triple to score Cochran, who had led off the inning with a single.
Cochran earned her first career victory in the nightcap, scattering six hits over 7.0 innings and allowing only Woodward’s sacrifice fly in the fourth inning. She struck out four Highlanders and also went 2-for-3 at the plate. Campbell added two more hits in the nightcap and finished the doubleheader 4-for-6 to bump her season batting average to .346. Game two marked Eureka’s first 7-inning game of the 2011 season.
With Wednesday’s sweep, Eureka is 2-0 to begin SLIAC play for the first time in five tries since joining the league in 2007. The Red Devils will look to extend their SLIAC win streak when they visit Principia for a 1 p.m. doubleheader this Saturday in Elsah, Ill.
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