After dropping five games at the Midwest Conference Crossover in Lawrence, Wis. this past weekend, the Knox College softball team rebounded to earn a split in a doubleheader against Eureka College on Wednesday. The split improves the Prairie Fire to 3-16 on the year.
In the first game, the Prairie Fire offense was able to muster just five hits against Eureka starting pitcher Sarah Jesse in a 2-1 loss in extra innings. Two bright spots, however, came in the forms of junior center fielder Kaylah Murphy and junior first baseman Amanda Wollrab, both of whom had two hits for the Fire. In addition, Murphy drove in the lone run of the game with an eighth inning single to bring home Wollrab.
Freshman Amber Eisha (1-9) took the loss for the Prairie Fire in relief. She gave up the two runs, both earned, in three innings. Freshman Anna Lemen started on the mound, pitching five innings of scoreless ball.
After the tough loss in game one, game two went in a much different fashion. Knox’s offense came alive, pounding out 10 hits and taking advantage of six Eureka walks in an 11-3 victory, shortened by the eight-run rule.
Wollrab continued her hot hitting, this time going 1-for-2 with 2 RBIs. Junior Beth McRill drove in two more runs on 2-for-3 at the plate. Eisha was perfect at the dish, going 3-for-3 and driving in Knox’s other RBI. Sophomore Brittany Wisniewski went 2-for-3 at the plate.
Lemen (1-5) started on the mound for the Fire and took the win, though her performance was less spectacular than in the first game. She pitched four innings, giving up three earned runs on eight hits, striking out two. Eisha scattered three hits over the final two innings, also striking out two.
Knox next hosts Grinnell College in a conference doubleheader on Saturday, April 16 before Robert Morris College comes to town the following day. Game one start-time for both doubleheaders is set for 1 p.m. On April 19, Knox travels to Augustana College.
Wollrab, one of Knox’s stronger bats in the doubleheader against the Red Devils, is confident that today’s wins could turn into more for the Fire.
“We can get two conference wins against Grinnell if we continue to play like we have been,” Wollrab said. “I think we are continuing to get better every game…If we can get our bats going in the beginning of games, it would lighten the pressure on our defense and we’ll have a better chance of winning games.”