Softball splits the double-header in series

Megan Lotarski on the mound for the Leathernecks.


Megan Lotarski on the mound for the Leathernecks.

Christopher Bean, Courier Staff

AUBURN, Ala.— Western Illinois played a double header on Saturday. In the first game they played University of North Carolina Wilmington Seahawks (3-11), and in the second game they played the national powerhouse Auburn Tigers (21-2), the 12th ranked team in the nation.

In the first game against the Seahawks, the Leathernecks swung their bats early and often in the 6-1 win for there sixth win of the year. After UNCW scored in the top of the first, Ashley Minyard drove in Jasmine Lara for a tie run in the bottom of the first. Western took their first lead in the very next inning thanks to a Lara single, which brought in Sidney Bottino. The next at bat, Peyton Abbott drove in Rachel Beatty to take a 3-1 lead.

In the bottom of the fourth Beatty hit a two run home run giving the Purple and Gold more runs. Hailey Duwa singled to left field driving in Lara in the bottom of the sixth that made it 6-1. They ended up with 15 hits, with Lara and Beatty combining with seven hits. But that wasn’t the biggest story in the game. Starting pitcher, Megan Lotarski pitched a complete game, giving up only one run in seven IP on four hits and two strikeouts. She picked up her second win of the year, and is now 2-3.

However, the second game did not go as planned. It was the complete opposite for Western Illinois. Auburn played like a top 12 team and got off to a quick start scoring two runs off of Western’s ace Emily Ira in the bottom of the first, from a sacrifice fly from Snow and a Shea single.

Snow, Perry and Shea knocked in three runs in a row to give Auburn a 5-0 through the three innings. Beatty was able to drive in Brooke Stulga in the top of the fourth to put Western on the board. Kelsey Marlow tripled and ended up scoring on an error by the right fielder that cut Auburn’s lead to 5-2 in the sixth. Draper got an infield single, to give Auburn a run in the bottom half of the inning. Auburn picked up their 21st win, and Kaylee Carlson remains undefeated with a 10-0 record.

For Western, this loses brings them to 6-12. Western had seven hits, but no player had more than one hit. Ira pitched all six innings on the mound for the Leathernecks, and also went 1-3 in the batters box.

Unfortunately, she is now 2-5, and still looking for her offense to produce runs for her. They will have to pick it up in the next two weeks, as there next nine games will be in Kansas.

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