EUREKA — Just like that, the Eureka softball team has won six straight games.
The Red Devils teed off against MacMurray in a 13-0 series opener on Wednesday afternoon at Palmer Field, and edged the Highlanders in an 8-7 comeback victory in Game 2.
With the wins, EC improved to 6-2 on the year and 4-0 in St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play, putting them at the top of the league standings.
Game 1: Eureka 13, MacMurray 0 (5 innings)
Eureka set the tone of the first contest with a pair of first-innign homers. First, Morgan Osborn (Washington, Ill./Washignton) sent a two-run dinger over the left-field fence. Then, two batters later, Morgan Ledbetter (Hanna City, Ill./Elmwood) sent a solo shot in the same direction to make it 3-0.
The Red Devils added a third run in the fourth on a sacrifice fly by Raelyn Payne (Lexington, Ill./Lexington). The following inning, they finally broke it open with a two-out nine-run rally that included six hits and a walk.
Klaire Wilmot (La Salle, Ill./La Salle-Peru), Osborn, Allison Cagley (Fairbury, Ill./Prairie Central), Jodi Mahasi (Peoria, Ill./Peoria Christian) and Faith Bachtold (Fairbury, Ill./Prairie Central) all drove in a run. Payne and Adrianna Zeman (La Salle, Ill./La Salle-Peru) both brought in two.
By the time it was over, Zeman had gone 3-for-3, Ledbetter and Osborn had each notched a pair of hits, and Osborn and Payne had each delivered a trio of RBIs.
Erin Smith (Dunlap, Ill./Dunlap) posted the team's first shutout of the season. The junior, who didn't concede a single walk, only allowed four hits and struck out five.
It was the Red Devils' fourth consecutive win by run rule
Game 2: Eureka 8, MacMurray 7
The Red Devils had to come back from down four runs to seal the sweep — and a crucial win for the conference playoff race.
After four innings of play, the Red Devils trailed the Highlanders 7-3. But they trimmed the lead to three with an RBI double by Cagley and an RBI single by Ledbetter on back-to-back at-bats in the fifth.
An RBI single by Osborn made it a one-run game at 7-6 in the sixth. And in the seventh, Erin Smith's two-run double to center field finally put the Red Devils on top for good. It was preceded by back-to-back singles by Ledbetter and Zeaman.
Smith also got the win in the circle after taking over for Sidney Wightman (Waterloo, Ill./Gibault Catholic) with one down in the fourth inning.
After already recording the win in Game 1, EC's most experienced arm twirled 3 2/3 innings of shut-out ball, kept the Highlanders off the board the rest of the way, only giving up three hits, and for the second showing in a row, not a single walk. She's now 4-1 on the season with a 1.31 ERA in 26 2/3 innings pitched.
At the plate, Ledbetter posted her first four-hit performance as a Red Devil, while Sydney Shubert (Canton, Ill./Canton) went 3-for-4 and Cagley and Zeman each contributed two big hits. Cagely doubled and went yard for the second time this season.
On Sunday, the Red Devils (6-2, 4-0) will look to extend their winning streak at home against Spalding (11-2). The Golden Eagles were voted to place third in the league in the SLIAC's Preseason Poll. EC was projected to finish sixth.