EIU softball takes to the field for weekend tournament
Posting just one win out of the 11 games so far — a 9-1 defeat of Northern Kentucky — the Eastern Illinois University (EIU) Panthers softball team will head to Southern Illinois University (SIU) for the Coach B Classic this weekend, March 5-6.
The Southern Illinois Coach B Classic will present familiar competitors in Butler, Kansas, when the Panthers meet the Salukis. Katie Watson and pitcher Michelle Rogers are two of the players to keep an eye on, both with strong records. Additionally, Jennifer Ames closed out the Northern Kentucky tournament with a four-game streak, hitting .455 over the weekend.
The weekend tourney starts with 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Saturday games against Kansas and Southern Illinois, respectively; and, at the same time designations, Butler and Kansas on Sunday.
The only team without any consecutive losses going into the upcoming event is SIU. The Salukis’ pitcher, freshman Brianna Jones, comes in strong with five shutouts. She has been named MVC pitcher of the week twice so far.
In contrast, EIU’s Jessica Wireman holds 51 strikeouts, edging out Jones’ record. Her two shutouts currently rank her 19th in the NCAA.
Panther April Markowski has four home runs to her credit, while Kylie Bennett has hit three triples to date this season, ranking 13th nationwide. At the team’s previous Frost Classic tournament, Watson, Bennett and Markowski all hit home runs consistently.
Looking ahead after the Coach B Classic, the Panthers will have a small break between tournament play, heading to Evansville to play the Purple Aces in an afternoon doubleheader on March 9.