Eureka Softball Nabs Road Split at Blackburn

File photo.
File photo.

CARLINVILLE, Ill. – The Eureka softball team picked up a St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference split against Blackburn, closing the day with an 8-1 victory over the Beavers.

The Red Devils dropped the first game in walk-off fashion after Blackburn's Kennedy Henson drove in the game-winning run in the bottom of the seventh to clinch a 5-4 victory.

Game 1: Blackburn 5, Eureka 4

The Red Devils tallied four runs on 10 hits and led until the bottom of the sixth inning, but they couldn't stop the Beavers from rallying late.

Eureka's Raelyn Payne (Lexington, Ill./Lexington) went 3-for-4 at the plate with a home run and two runs scored in the loss. Allison Cagley (Fairbury, Ill./Prairie Central) went 2-for-4 with a double and Jordan Heinz (Washington, Ill./Washington) added two hits as well.

Aubrey Sanders (Paris, Ill./Paris) contributed a double, while Morgan Ledbetter (Hanna City, Ill./Elmwood) and Torre Koontz (Lakewood, Ill./Shelbyville) each singled.

The Red Devils took a 3-0 lead early after three runs on five hits in the first. Ledbetter singled to drive in Payne, who led off with a single, advanced to second on a wild pitch and moved to third on a groundout by Heinz.

After Cagley doubled to center, Sanders did the same, bringing home Ledbetter and Cagley. Later, Payne hammered a solo homer to left field in the fourth to make it 4-0.

Blackburn got on the board with an RBI single in the fifth, then tied the game with three runs off four hits and a Eureka error in the sixth. That set up the walk-off rally in the seventh.

Game 2: Eureka 8, Blackburn 1

After the close loss, Eureka came back strong, plating eight runs on 12 hits.

Sidney Wightman (Waterloo, Ill./Gibault Catholic) notched her first win of the season in the circle after only allowing one run on four hits and two walks in seven innings pitched. She also went 3-for-4 and drove in two runs at the plate.

Payne, Ledbetter and Kennedy Savage (Bloomington, Ill./Normal) all had a pair of hits and Payne contributed a double. Heinz, Bailey Tibbetts (Pekin, Ill./Pekin) and Christine Mepham (Bourbonnais, Ill./ Bradley-Bourbonnais) all had a hit as well.

Wightman drove in two with a bases-loaded single in the second inning and Tibbetts grounded out to bring another home and make it 3-0.

Savage singled after a pair of walks to give EC a 4-0 advantage in the following inning, then Eureka added three more in the fourth. Payne and Ledbetter each had RBI singles and Cagley had an RBI groundout.

Heinz slapped home EC's last run of the day in the sixth. Blackburn finally got on the board with a run on two hits in the bottom half.

But there was no last-ditch rally this time. Wightman retired the last four batters of the game in order.

Coming Up

On Wednesday, Eureka (6-13, 4-7 SLIAC) will host Greenville (7-14, 3-3) in a conference doubleheader at Sweitzer Field at 1 p.m.