The independent student newspaper of Western Illinois University. Serving Macomb since 1905.

Western Courier

Ira and Compton rule the Summit League

Campbell Atkins

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Western Illinois softball players Emily Ira and Aly Compton were named Summit League Pitcher and Player of the Week for their performances against the Fort Wayne Mastodons. Ira has earned the honor for the third time this season and the fourth time of her career while Compton snagged her first.

Ira was dominant in Fort Wayne over the weekend, recording two complete games and picking up two wins. In 14 innings, Ira surrendered just one run and struck out 19 Mastodons.

In Game 1, Ira fell just short of a complete game shutout. She allowed just one run in the bottom of the seventh inning and the Leathernecks won easily 6-1. She allowed five hits on the afternoon and struck out 12 of the 26 opposing hitters she saw.

Ira snagged redemption in the rubber match of the three game series and sealed the complete game shutout. She held the Mastodons to just three hits in their second chance against her as she struck out seven more. The win helped propel Western to their third straight Summit League series win to begin the season. Overall, she has logged 127.2 innings for the Leathernecks this season.

The accolade further proves Ira’s conference dominance this season. In 2017, she leads the Summit League in earned run average (2.25) and is second in strikeouts (154). She also owns an impressive strikeout/walk ratio of nearly 13 to 1, walking just 12 batters this season. She has started in 19 of the 20 games she has appeared in and has gone the distance in 17 of them.

While Ira took care of Fort Wayne from the pitcher’s circle, Compton impressed from the batter’s box. The sophomore from Noblesville, Indiana posted a batting average of .636 in the three-game series, going 7-for-11 with a homerun, two runs batted in and three scored.

Compton got steadily better and better as the series progressed. In Game 1, she posted a modest number of 1-for-3 with an RBI. Even though Western lost Game 2 4-3, Compton recorded two singles and set herself up for a dominant performance in the rubber match of the series.

In Sunday’s series finale, Compton recorded more hits on the day (four) than the Mastodons posted as an entire team against Ira (three). Fort Wayne failed to retire her once in the game while she recorded an RBI and scored two runs.

Compton has raised her overall batting average on the season to .258. She has recorded 25 hits thus far, including two homeruns. She has knocked home five runners on the year and scored another 13 herself.

The Leathernecks will return to Summit League play and take on the IUPUI Jaguars (15- 21, 5-1) for a double-header in Macomb on Friday at 3 p.m. The series finale will take place on Saturday at 11 a.m.

Twitter: @campbellatkins4

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The independent student newspaper of Western Illinois University. Serving Macomb since 1905.
Ira and Compton rule the Summit League