Offense continues to shine as Eureka sweeps Spalding

Offense continues to shine as Eureka sweeps Spalding

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Junior Lexi Litwiller (Eureka, Ill./Eureka [Lincoln College]) collected three hits, including a two-run home run, lifting the Red Devils to an 8-7 St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference game one victory over Spalding, Saturday afternoon in Louisville, Ky. The Red Devils rebounded to win the nightcap, 12-10.

Eureka sits at 20-2 on the season and a perfect 6-0 in conference action. The Red Devils reach the 20-win plateau for the first time since the 2013 season (21-16).

Litwiller's two-run blast gave the Red Devils an early advantage, but the host tied the contest with a run in the first and third inning. In the fifth sophomore Krysten Wallace (Bartonville, Ill./Limestone) singled home senior Savanna Tapper (East Peoria, Ill./East Peoria) to put the Red Devils back in front, 3-2.

Spalding tacked on three runs in the home half of the fifth behind a 3-run blast by Shelby Kilgore, giving the Golden Eagles the momentum and a 5-3 lead.

Eureka evened the contest in the next half inning on run-scoring doubles from juniors, Bridget Bankes (East Peoria, Ill./East Peoria [Heartland CC]) and Rachel Patterson (Tremont, Ill./Tremont [ICC]).

Back-to-back jacks from Spalding pushed SU back in front with Eureka facing their final three outs. Litwiller kicked off the comeback by picking up her third RBI of the contest, and slashing the deficit to one, with a run-scoring single to left center. Later in the inning Eureka capitalized on a pair of Spalding errors to reclaim the lead for good, 8-7.

Sophomore Kali George (East Peoria, Ill./East Peoria) picked up her 11th win of the season in the circle, firing all seven innings. George struck out three and walked one.

In game two, the Red Devils faced a 6-1 hole after three innings of work. The Red Devils exploded with a six-run fifth inning to push ahead 7-6. Freshman Kerrigan Dura (Brimfield, Ill./Brimfield) doubled home a pair and Patterson connected on her first home run of the season, a 3-run shot to left, capping the offensive explosion.

Patterson, Eureka's game two starting pitcher, clobbered a grand slam in her next at-bat in the sixth, providing the final four runs needed for the sweep. She finished the contest 2-for-4 with a season-high seven runs driven in.

Patterson went the distance in the nightcap, improving to 9-1 on the year. The righty struck out two and walked three.

The Red Devils are back in action at home on Tuesday with a scheduled conference double header against Principia. First pitch against the Panthers is scheduled for 3 p.m.