Softball loses series against Jackrabbits


Angel Strack/ Courier Staff

Haley Duwa winds up for the swing.

Haley Richards, Sports Editor

MACOMB, Ill. – The Western Illinois softball team faced South Dakota State University in their last home series of the season this weekend. The Leathernecks lost the series and move onto 17-27 on the season.

The double-header on Saturday was split, the Jackrabbits won the first game by a score of 13-3 and the Leathernecks won the second game 4-3.

Junior pitcher Emily Ira received her first conference loss of the season in game one. South Dakota State got an early lead of 2-0 when two RBI singles plated junior outfielder Lyndsey Crist and junior infielder Baily Janssen.

Junior infielder Hailey Duwa stepped up offensively for the Leathernecks and tied the game at 2-2 in the fourth inning after she hit a home run to left center field. It was the fifth inning when the Jackrabbits began to pull away and scored 11 runs which Western Illinois could not come back from.

The Purple and Gold needed three runs in the fifth to avoid the run-rule, but unfortunately, could not make it happen. Ira went 2-for-2 at the plate in 4.2 innings of pitching and surrender five runs and nine hits. She had five strikeouts on the game.

In game two of the day, the Purple and Gold came out ready to rally. Freshman pitcher Abby Carlin recorded the win in the circle with junior catcher Sidney Bottino behind the plate. This was Carlin’s second win of the season and first Summit League win. She pitched a total of 5.1 innings and had three runs against her.

Western scored one run in the first inning when sophomore infielder Halle Hollatz flied out, allowing sophomore outfielder Jasmine Lara to come home. It was not until the fifth inning that more runs were scored.

Back-to-back singles from Lara and freshman outfielder Ashley Minyard put those two of first and second. Senior infielder Kelsey Marlow then bunted to advance the runners, as she was thrown out. Duwa walked leaving the bases loaded with Hollatz up to the plate. Hollatz hit a single to left, bringing Lara in. Bottino, up next, singled bringing in more runs for the Purple and Gold.

South Dakota tried to come back by scoring two runs in the sixth inning but that wasn’t enough. Senior pitcher Brooke Stulga ended the game in the circle and picked up her first save of the season for the Leathernecks.

The game on Sunday was senior day for the Purple and Gold. Stulga, Marlow and senior outfielder Sam Ralphs and Rachel Beatty were honored at the game. The final score of the game was 13-3.

Western Illinois will continue their Summit League stretch next weekend against North Dakota State in Fargo, N.D. Their first game is set for Saturday at noon.

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