EUREKA – The Eureka softball team came up short in a pair of St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference contests against Greenville on an otherwise beautiful afternoon at Sweitzer Field.
The Red Devils couldn't close the gap during a seventh-inning rally in Game 1 and lost 5-3. Then, in the second game, EC couldn't keep pace with the Panthers in a 10-4 loss.
Game 1: Greenville 5, Eureka 3
Eureka scratched across three runs on eight hits in Game 1, but the hits came a little too late for the Red Devils.
Down 5-1 in the seventh inning, Eureka tallied two runs on four hits before Greenville shut the door.
Sidney Wightman (Waterloo, Ill./Gibault Catholic) started it off with a pinch-hit single to right-center with one out.
Bria Wessell (Peoria, Ill./Limestone) followed it with a single that moved courtesy runner Elly Maier (Clinton, Ill./Clinton) to second before Raelyn Payne (Lexington, Ill./Lexington) drove in a run on a single to left field.
Jordan Heinz (Washington, Ill./Washington) delivered an RBI single to make it 5-3, but Greenville was able to hold the Red Devils off with an out on a fielder's choice and a fly-out to center.
Payne and Heinz each went 2-for-4 with an RBI. Heinz had a double and also scored a run. Also contributing base hits were Allison Cagley (Fairbury, Ill./Prairie Central) and Aubrey Sanders (Paris, Ill./Paris) to go with Wightman and Wessell's.
Eureka scored the first run of the game on a sacrifice fly RBI that scored Heinz in the first.
The Panthers did the bulk of their scoring in a four-run third, then tacked on one more in the fifth.
EC pitcher Torre Koontz (Lakewood, Ill./Shelbyville) limited the visitors to five runs on nine hits and one walk while striking out three in seven innings.
Game 2: Greenville 10, Eureka 4
Eureka notched one more run (4) on the same number of hits (8) in Game 2, but the Panthers posted 10 runs on 13 hits and scored at least one run every inning.
After Greenville scored its first run of the game in the first inning, Payne scored an unearned run in the first to briefly tie the game in the first.
The Panthers came back with one in the second and two in the third before Eureka got on the board again in the bottom of the third. The Red Devils scored two runs on four hits. Payne and Heinz set the table with one-out singles, then Cagley and Morgan Ledbetter (Hanna City, Ill./Elmwood) delivered back-to-back RBI singles to make it a one run game at 4-3.
Once again, though, Greenville responded with a run in the fourth and two in the fifth. A sac fly RBI by Ledbetter made it a three-run game in the fifth at 7-4, but that ended up being EC's last run of the day.
Payne, who leads the SLIAC with a .515 batting average, went 3-for-3 and scored three runs. Heinz knocked two hits and scored a run. Ledbetter had one hit and three RBIs, while Cagley added a hit and an RBI and Sanders had a hit as well.
On Saturday, Eureka will host Blackburn in the team's final home doubleheader at 11 a.m. The Red Devils previously split with the Beavers in Carlinville on Sunday.