By Bob Flynn
Register Sports Writer
The EKU softball team stretched its season-high winning streak to six games with a sweep of a doubleheader, 10-3 and 7-0 over Ohio University in its home opener Tuesday at Gertrude Hood Field.
In the first game, the Colonels (16-9, 3-0 OVC) used some timely hitting and took advantage of five Ohio errors to score three runs each in the third, fourth and fifth innings to come from a 1-0 deficit to get the win.
Shaylon Robb (5-4) picked up her third complete game of the season, giving up only five hits and allowing three runs, while striking out a career high nine batters.
After giving up a wind-assisted solo home run to Caitlin Colvin in the first inning, Robb settled down and didn’t allow the Bobcats to get more than one hit in any inning.
“Shaylon did fine today. There were a couple of pitches here and there where her mechanics threw her off just a little bit. She just needs to be reminded and then she can fix it,” EKU coach Jane Worthington said. “It also helps when you are up runs. You can relax a little bit and everybody plays better when they are relaxed.”
After a slow start, the Colonels’ offense came to life in the third inning.
Senior Raquel Howes got the Colonels on the board with a lead-off homer to center field to tie the game at 1-1.
Back-to-back two-out hits put the Colonels on top for good.
Freshman Kayla Joyce drove in fellow freshman Sarah Fobbs with a double to the gap in center field. Christina Ciolek followed that with a single to right to drive in Joyce and put the EKU up 3-1.
The Colonels extended their lead to 6-1 in the fourth inning, aided by two Bobcats throwing errors.
After Ohio scored a run in the top of the fifth to cut the lead to 6-2, EKU wasted no time putting three more runs on the board.
After back-to-back walks to Shannon McQueen and Haley Schenasi to open the bottom of the fifth, senior Carissa Reisinger drilled her first career home run over the left-centerfield wall to give the Colonels a 9-2 advantage.
Ohio tacked on a run in the top of the sixth inning, but EKU answered back in its half of the inning on a walk and stolen base by Fobbs and a single by Kayla Joyce to set the final score.
The Colonels made the Bobcats pay each time they committed an error, pushing an unearned run across the plate each time.
The Colonels used aggressive baserunning to put themselves in scoring position several times during the game and EKU batters punched the runs across the plate.
Worthington said that has been the key to her team’s success all season.
“We have been hitting the ball and the one thing we do is run,” Worthington said. “We are blessed with more than average speed this year. That is definitely part of our game this year. The have been told to go and if you get thrown out, oh well.”
In the second game, Colonel ace Leanna Pittsenbarger (10-5) picked up her fourth complete-game shutout of the season, allowing only one hit, a single by Lauren Gellerman in the fourth inning, while striking out nine batters.
Fobbs and Ciolek had home runs in the game for the Colonels, who collected four homers in the two games.
Joyce went a combined 4-for-7 in the two games. She scored three runs, collected two RBI and stole a base.
EKU returns to OVC action with a doubleheader with Eastern Illinois Saturday and Sunday.