Softball Travels to Face Lady Panthers
May 4, 2004
Cape Girardeau, Mo. - Southeast Missouri State (14-31, 9-11 OVC) softball travels to Eastern Illinois (20-32, 8-15 OVC) as they fight to hold their position to make the OVC tournament. With four regular season games remaining, the Otahkians are in sixth place in the OVC standings, while Austin Peay (8-14 OVC) and Eastern Illinois ranked seventh and eighth respectively. Six teams make the tourney as Southeast is ready to defend their position this week.
"Looking for an OVC tournament bid, this is a critcal game for us," said head coach Lana Richmond. "It is a must-win."
Southeast met Eastern Illinois earlier this season at home, as the squad's split the doubleheader. EIU won the first game 4-1, while the Otahks came back to take the second on 3-2.
Scouting Southeast... The Otahks split a twinbill with Tennessee-Martin and dropped a pair of extremely close ballgames with Eastern Kentucky last weekend. Rightfielder/pitcher Kelly Birk led the squad hitting .533, going 8-for-15 with one run batted in over the week. She had a nearly flawless performance against UTM going 8-for-9 at the plate. Junior thirdbaseman Victoria Torrez it the squad's only game-winning hit of the week in the bottom of the nineth of the first UTM game to put Southeast on top 5-4.
K. Birk is on fire as of late for the squad, batting .400 in conference, with four runs scored and 10 RBIs over the OVC stretch. She leads the squad with an overall batting average of .329. J. Birk follows closely behind, batting .319 on the season, while batting .403 against league opponents. She leads the squad in RBIs with 18 on the season.
Scouting Eastern Illinois... The Lady Panthers lost to Tennessee-Martin before taking two of three from Tennessee State last week. Infielder Sandyn Short hit .500 with two doubles, two RBIs and a run scored. Short broke the EIU single-season RBI record by driving in the first run of the TSU series to give her 37 on the year. Pitcher Andrea Darnell went 1-0 with a save and did not allow a run in nine innings of work. She struck out five and walked only one batter. After not earning a walk in 148 at-bats entering the TSU series, infielder Rachel Karos drew a free pass to begin both games of the doubleheader and scored each time.
After facing Southeast, the Panthers conclude the regular season with a three-game series against the OVC second ranked team, Tennessee Tech (16-7 OVC).
On deck... Southeast will conclude the regular season with a three-game series against Samford University (14-9 OVC) this weekend, May 8 and 9, in Birmingham, Ala. The squad will pair-off for a 1:00 p.m. doubleheader on Saturday, followed by a 1:00 p.m. single game on Sunday.