Leathernecks split series at Omaha

Dayne McElwee, Courier Staff

Over the weekend the Western Illinois Leathernecks Softball team continued Summit League play as they traveled to Omaha, Nebraska to face off against the Mavericks. Western Illinois came into this series winning three out of their last five. 

Game one of this four game series occurred on Saturday April 17. It didn’t take long for the Leathernecks to crack the scoreboard as they plated one in the top of the first. Sydney Hollings was able to score off of a double from sophomore Kellie Marcheschi. WIU was able to plate another two innings later as Ami Ill was able to score off of a hit from Savannah Rodriguez. The Leathernecks would take a 2-0 lead going into the bottom of the third. The Mavericks looked for a spark as they were able to bring in Lynsey Tucker on a sacrifice fly. Stellar defense kept this game close for the next four innings. WIU was able to get an insurance run in the seventh as Savannah Rodriguez was able to hit her sixth home run on the season. The Leathernecks would close out game one with a final score of 3-1. The winning pitcher was Abby Carlin as she pitched a complete game. 

The second game took place right after this first game. Pitchers Savannah Rodriguez and Sydney Nuismer were locked in as only one run was scored in six innings of work. Both offenses started clicking in the sixth as both teams scored three. The Leathernecks’ only offense in this game consisted of a three run home run from Savannah Rodriguez. The Mavericks kept the ball in the ballpark in the bottom of the sixth but were able to plate three off of a triple and a double. The Mavericks took the lead 4-3 going into the seventh inning. Kamryn Meyer closed the game out for the Mavericks as she struck out two and got a ground out to close out the second game of this double header. Games three and four would take place on Sunday April 18 to finish out the series.

Game three started out a little different for WIU as they never had a lead in this game. The Mavericks were able to chip away throughout the game. After 5 innings they were leading 3-1 and looked to extend the lead. They were able to do just that in the sixth as they played small ball and plated six runs. Omaha was in control this whole game and would go on to win 9-1. The Leathernecks were only able to get one hit in this ballgame as they were outhit 13-1.

Much like game one and game two the Leathernecks were able to get a lead early. Ill scored on an RBI double from Savannah Rodriguez. This was followed up by an Abrianna Garcia single to bring in Rodriguez. Both offenses broke the score column in the second as WIU extended their lead to 3-0. The Mavericks looked to chip away at the deficit as Taylor Johnson hit a two run home run. WIU was able to hold on to the 3-2 lead for the rest of the game, as Abby Carlin was able to pick up her second win of the series.

The Leathernecks will return back to Macomb as they host Eastern Illinois on Thursday April 22. They will then finish up conference play as they host Kansas City and will travel to South Dakota.