The Eastern Kentucky University softball team split a doubleheader with first-place Eastern Illinois on Sunday afternoon at Gertrude Hood Field, losing game one, 7-2, before edging the Panthers in game two, 2-1.
Freshman pitcher Mollie Paulick (6-8) tossed a complete game to earn the win in game two, allowing only one run and striking out six.
After EIU (22-16, 8-2 OVC) – which entered the day tied for first with Jacksonville State atop the OVC – plated a run in the top of the third, EKU (15-22, 4-5 OVC) responded with two of its own in the home half of the inning to take the lead. Senior Krislyn Campos ignited the rally with a one-out single up the middle. After going to second on a groundout by freshman Mia Sanchez, Campos scored when sophomore Rachel Minogue blasted a two-out double to right-center. Junior Johnkyria Alston then plated Minogue for the eventual game-winning run with a single into left field.
The one-run lead was all Paulick needed. EIU posed its biggest threat in the top of the sixth when the Panthers loaded the bases with two outs. However, Paulick emphatically struck out Maria DeVito to escape the threat and the inning.
Minogue – who came into the day leading EKU with a .412 batting average – finished game two 3-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored. Sophomore Hannah Clark went 2-for-3 at the plate.
Mia Davis drove in EIU’s lone run in game two.
In game one, Eastern Illinois scored one in the first and then went ahead 3-0 when Kiley Pelker blasted a two-run home run to left field in the top of the second.
EKU cut into the deficit in the home half of the second, as Clark and junior Paige Murphy crushed back-to-back solo home runs to make it 3-2.
The Panthers, however, added a run in the third and fourth, and then pushed two runs across in the top of the seventh to put the game out of reach.
Senior Alex Sallberg (6-10) picked up the loss in game one. Freshman Ashton Martin entered the game in the second and tossed 4.2 innings of solid relief, allowing only two earned runs on four hits.
Clark and Murphy both finished 1-for-3 with an RBI in game one.
Jessica Wireman (11-9) pitched a complete game for EIU, surrendering only two runs on four hits while fanning 11.
Haley Mitchell paced the Panthers at the plate, going 2-for-4 with a pair of RBI.
The Colonels return to action at Dayton on Wednesday at 3:00 p.m.
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Associate Director of EKUSports Communications