Softball looks to bounce back after rough start to season

David Koier, Courier Staff

MACOMB, Ill. – The Western Illinois Leatherneck softball team takes a long trip down to Waco, Texas this weekend as they participate in the Getterman Classic hosted by the University of Baylor. Other teams participating in the tournament are the host Baylor Bears, the Prairie View A&M Panthers and the Grand Canyon University Lopes.

Each team will face each other once before the semifinal Saturday afternoon. The winner of Saturday’s semifinals will meet Sunday afternoon in the Championship while the two semi final losers will play in the consolation championship. Western’s weekend begins Friday at 10 a.m. against Prairie A&M. Almost immediately after that first game concludes, the Leathernecks face off against the Lopes of GCU at 12:30 p.m.

The Purple and Gold take the field once again Saturday afternoon for their final playing game against the host Baylor Bears at 12:30 p.m. The semifinal of the tournament is scheduled for Saturday at a time to be announced. The Getterman Tournament Championship is scheduled for Sunday, again at a time to be announced.

The Leathernecks (1-4) are looking to bounce back from their last outing at the Rambler Rumble this past weekend where they faced off against teams like the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, IUPUI, the University of Evansville, Miami of Ohio and Butler. After a strong start to the season with a 5-2 victory over Green Bay, Western was swept by the remaining teams to earn themselves a four game losing streak. The weekend was not only highlighted by the win over Green Bay, but the well fought pitcher’s duel against Miami that resulted in extra innings. After the Redhawks took a 1-0 lead in the top of the fifth, the Leathernecks were down to their final out in the bottom of the seventh with a runner on second. Savannah Rodriguez, who was pinch hitting for senior Jasmine Lara, stepped up and was able to single into left field, driving in the tying run and sending the game into extra innings. Unfortunately, the Leathernecks allowed the go ahead run in the top of the loth and were not able to respond.

Junior Abby Carlin was able to pitch all 10 innings, surrendering nine hits and two runs with only one of those runs earned. Across those 10 frames, Carlin was able to sit six batters faced down on strikes. Carlin, who has stepped into the role of recently graduated senior ace Emily Ira, saw action against not only Miami this weekend, but also in the win against Green Bay. In her two appearances, she pitched two complete games, allowed four runs (three earned) off 15 hits while striking out 10 and allowing no walks earning her a 1.24 ERA.

On the offensive side of things, freshman Kellie Marcheschi started off the season hot, notching three hits off eight plate appearances including her first career home run. Returning outfielder Alyssa Ealy also had some success at the plate and on the bases, smacking four hits herself, two of which were triples while also touching home a team high four times over the course of the weekend.