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EIU softball extends winning streak to seven games

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (EIU) — Eastern Illinois softball extended their win streak to seven straight games after sweeping Tennessee State Sunday afternoon. The Panthers beat the Tigers 6-1 and 5-1 in the Ohio Valley Conference doubleheader after opening play in the OVC with a sweep of Belmont 3-2 in nine innings and 11-8. 

EIU improves to 24-8 overall and 4-0 in the OVC. 

Megan Burton led the Panthers going 6-for-7 at the plate on the day. She batted a perfect 4-for-4 in game one versus the Tigers with three RBIs.

The Panthers combined for 12 hits in game one. Mia Davis, Kendyl McKeough, and Burton all recorded doubles. Davis hit a double in the first inning to spark EIU's offense. EIU finished with three hits and two runs jumping out to a 2-0 lead. TSU's only run of the game came in the bottom of the first inning.

EIU tallied a single run in the top of the third and fifth innings and added two in the seventh to walk away with the five-run win. McKeough doubled in the fifth inning and Burton doubled down the third base line in the seventh inning to highlight the Panthers hitting. Burton also finished with two stolen bases.

Jessica Wireman improved to 10-4 on the mound, playing a complete game for EIU. She recorded seven strikeouts.

Burton carried her offensive efforts over into the second game. She went 2-for-3 at the plate with two runs, and five other players recorded hits, combining for seven team hits.

The Panthers scored two runs in the second inning to get on the board first. Andrea Roberts hit a sacrifice fly in the second inning to score Burton as EIU jumped out to a 2-0 run. The Tigers managed one run in the fifth inning.

Michelle Rogers improved to 11-3 on the mound pitching a complete game. She tallied a season-best seven strikeouts. 

The Panthers host Butler on Tuesday for a non-conference matchup. The first pitch is set for 4 p.m.

Against Belmont, Haley Mitchell led the Panthers, batting .545 on the day finishing with six hits, including three doubles and eight RBIs. 

In game one the Panthers scored two runs over the sixth and seventh inning to take a 2-1 lead. Kayla Bear scored first for EIU as Mitchell singled down the left field line in the top of the sixth. Kristen Ames added a run off Morgan LaMore’s single to left center in the top of the seventh, but the Bruins managed to tie the game 2-2 forcing extra innings.

Maria DeVito singled in the top of the ninth inning, tallying the game-winning RBI scoring Burton.

Wireman improved to 9-4 with eight strikeouts in the complete game.

Both teams exploded offensively in the second game of the doubleheader, combining for 14 runs through the first three innings. 

The game was tied at eight when in the seventh Mitchell doubled down the right field line, tallying two more runs, followed by McKeough with a double to center field to score Mitchell.

Michelle Rogers pitched the first two innings for the Panthers with Valerie Thompson pitching the next 3.1 innings. Thompson finished with three strikeouts and improved to 3-0 on the mound. Wireman finished the game and tallied her sixth save of the season.

Track posts two first-place finishes at SIU

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CARBONDALE (EIU) — Eastern Illinois track and field opened the 2018 outdoor season with the Panthers competing at the SIU Bill Cornell Classic on a cold and rainy day in Carbondale.

EIU is to return to action next weekend hosting the EIU Big Blue Classic. It is to be the last home meet for longtime EIU head coach Tom Akers, who announced earlier this year that this would be his last season coaching the Panthers track and field programs.

Pedra Hicks had the best finish of the day for the EIU teams with a first-place finish in the 400 hurdles. Hicks posted a winning time of 1:03.57.

In field events, Brion Portis picked up another first-place finish for the Panthers, winning the women's triple jump with a mark of 40 feet, 11 inches. She placed fifth in the women's long jump with a mark of 17-5 1/4. Davion McManis was fifth for the EIU men in the long jump, clearing 21-11.

Redshirt senior Riley McInerney, a Charleston grad, opened his final season in an EIU uniform, placing second in the men's 1,500-meter run. McInerney posted a time of 3:53.55. Devante Smith added a fourth-place finish for the EIU men in the 100 dash with a time of 10.87.

The Panthers' most successful event of the day was the women's javelin, with three top five finishers. Kaitlyn Ebert was second with a throw of 118-4 3/4. MaKenna Wilson, Charleston grad, was third with a throw of 113-7 1/4. Jasmine Woodley was fifth with a throw of 103-6.

Baseball comes up short at Murray State

MURRAY, Ky. (EIU) — Eastern Illinois lost all three games to Murray State in baseball over the weekend in Ohio Valley Conference play. Sunday, the Panthers were blanked 5-0. Saturday in a doubleheader Eastern lost 7-4 and 13-7. 

Eastern Illinois dropped to 9-14 (1-5 OVC).

The Panthers combined for a total four doubles in the series finale. Josh Turnock, Dougie Parks, Logan Beaman and Jimmy Huber each had an extra-base hit in today's game.

Carson Haws took the loss on the mound for the Panthers tossing 2.0 innings, allowing three hits, three runs (two earned), three walks, and striking out two batters. Haws dropped to 1-3 on the season.

Turnock finished 2-for-4 with a double and a walk. Huber finished the afternoon 1-for-3 with a double and a walk.

Saturday in game one Dougie Parks was 2-for-4 with a double, a home run and two RBIs, while Turnock was 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI. Joseph Duncan was 2-for-5 for EIU. 

Michael Starcevich suffered the loss for the Panthers, allowing three runs in an inning and a third. 

In game two EIU led 4-3 after three and a half innings before being outscored 10-3 the rest of the way. 

Duncan was 2-for-4, while Turnock was 1-for-4. 

Blake Malatestinic was the losing pitcher, allowing seven hits and five runs in 2 2/3 innings. 

The Panthers are to travel to St. Louis to battle Saint Louis University on Tuesday.

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