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MURRAY, Ky. — The Eastern Illinois baseball team traveled to Murray, Kentucky to take on Murray State on Friday. The Panthers defeated the Racers 8-3 in the first game for the conference series.

With the win, EIU improves to 7-9 (2-2 OVC), while Murray State drops to 6-10 (2-2 OVC). EIU came out strong in the bottom of the first inning with a quick six-run lead. Dane Toppel got the one out rally started when he reached on a fielding error. Hunter Morris followed up with a two-run home run to right field. Ryan Knernschield kept the offensive pressure alive with a single up the middle. Ryan Ignoffo would single to right field and advance to second on a fielding error, while Knernschield moved to third. The Panthers added two more to their lead when Christian Pena hit a two-run single to right. Trey Sweeney kept the rally alive with a two-out RBI single to center field. Govern would drive in the sixth run of the inning with an RBI double to left field.

The Racers were able to get on the board in the top of the fourth inning with three runs.

The Panthers extended their lead to eight runs in the bottom of the eighth. Grant Emme and Sweeney both hit one-run singles to give the Panthers an 8-3 lead.

Michael YaSenka got the call on the mound for the Panthers to kick off their conference series against Murray State. Yasenka picked up his first win as a Panther improving to 1-3 on the season. YaSenka tossed 8.0 innings with nine strikeouts, six hits, three runs, and two walks.

SOFTBALL

From Thursday

EIU Softball drops two in Clearwater

CLEARWATER, FL. — Eastern Illinois softball fell in both rematches vs. UT Chattanooga and North Dakota State earlier today. The Mocs took a 9-1 win in six innings and the Bison won 7-5 to hold off the Panthers.

EIU falls to 7-19 overall and will close the USF Series tomorrow afternoon with two more games. The Panthers will play Buffalo at 12 pm and Seton Hall at 2:30 p.m.

Game 1

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The Panthers recorded seven hits in the first game of the day led by Breya Cooper who finished 2-of-3 at the plate. UT Chattanooga won 9-1 over EIU to sweep the Panthers in the season series.

The Mocs recorded 14 team hits with five players having at least two hits. They jumped out to a 4-0 lead after the second inning.

Cooper would score the Panthers' only run on a solo homer to center field, while UTC added another two runs in the third, one in the fourth and two more in the sixth.

Jade Montgomery was the starting pitcher for EIU. She falls to 2-10 on the mound. Sydney Cammon and Valerie Thompson each came in for relief.

Game 2

Haley Mitchell led the Panthers at the plate in game two of the day. She was 3-of-3 with one run scored and two RBIs. EIU trailed by four runs heading into the sixth. They managed to get within two runs of NDSU, but the Bison took a 7-5 win in their last meeting of the season.

Mitchell opened the game with a two-run homer to left field. NDSU took a 3-2 lead in the third inning with a pair of one-run singles and a sac fly.

Kendyl McKeough tied the game 3-3 in the fourth with a single to center field that would score Ashley Bartlett.

The Bison added three more runs by the bottom of the fifth inning. McKeough tallied another RBI with a single to center, and Taylor Jones would later score on an error by the pitcher. EIU's two-run sixth inning fell short giving NDSU a 7-5 win.

Hannah Cravens and McKeough both finished 2-of-3 at the plate, while McKenna Coffman made the start on the mound. She pitched 3.1 innings and falls to 1-7. Cammon and Thompson each split the remainder of the game.

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