UIS softball says goodbye to senior players
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This past Sunday, UIS softball welcomed Drury to a GLVC double header with hopes of the conference tournament in their grasp. The double header against Drury was the team’s last home game.
In game one, UIS dominated with a score of 5-2. In the first inning, Drury started off with one run; however, in the fourth inning, UIS freshman Erika Bowers singled which allowed junior Shannon Mitchell to score a run and tie with Drury.
UIS continued their strong performance against Drury with sophomore Chelsea Minor hitting a double, allowing sophomore Jordyn Amos to score. This allowed UIS to take the lead.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, UIS gained total control of the lead by scoring three back-to-back points. Senior Samantha Inman, Amos and Minor all contributed to the three points allowing UIS to lead by four.
The team worked well defensively and offensively. UIS softball was able to defensively back their pitcher up when there was a hit. Senior Brooke Carroll said, “We definitely put our bats together to score the runs. We have been having trouble lately so it really helped that we got everyone off the bases.”
With a strong performance from freshman pitcher Cheyanne Bowman, Drury’s scoring was kept at a minimum. In the top of the seventh inning, Drury managed to get one run, allowing UIS to win by three.
Junior Mandy Smith said, “We had energy and were aggressive at the plate. This put us in ideal situations and scoring positions. Also Cheyanne Bowman pitched a great game hitting her spots and making Drury hitters have to work to get on base.”
Coach Mat Mundell said, “They came out and competed right from the start. We played well in all aspects of the game. We pitched it, fielded it and hit it well.”
In game two, UIS lost against Drury with the score of 6-3. In the beginning of game two, UIS started strong and in third inning Carroll hit her 10th homerun of the season, allowing Minor and sophomore Lauren Hollinshead to bring in two runs.
Mundell said, “We came out strong. We had a 3-0 lead. We played five great innings.”
UIS led by three points, while senior Brittaney Sitton showed a strong pitching performance throughout the first five innings. In the sixth inning, UIS began to struggle defensively and allowed Drury to score six runs and take the lead.
Smith said, “Our problems were partly errors as well as not putting the ball in play towards the end of the game. After struggling a little defensively it seemed to be affecting our batting as well. Whether it was smart pitching changes by Drury or just our lack of adjusting to a new style, our hitting just wasn’t doing as well as we were in the first game.”
With an unfortunate loss, UIS turned their focus to their seniors. At the end of the double header against Drury, UIS said goodbye to their five seniors [Sarah Gray, Samantha Inman, Tina Buck, Brittaney Sitton and Brooke Carroll].
These seniors have contributed tremendously to the UIS program by breaking records in different areas and showing leadership towards the team.
Mundell said, “It is never a good feeling to say goodbye to your seniors. They have really helped shape and grow this softball program. All five are extremely gifted on and off the field.
“They were part of the two most successful seasons in school history. This group will leave here with many different individual school records.”
Smith said, “Losing the seniors is definitely sad. We have a lot of experience and talent that we will be losing. Having five seniors who regularly contribute to our games will make a difference next year not only in softball but personalities as well.”