SLIAC Game of the Week: Eureka at Webster

SLIAC Game of the Week: Eureka at Webster

 

At a Glance

This week's SLIAC Game of the Week is between the two teams currently in first and second place in St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference softball play; Eureka College and Webster University. The softball doubleheader is slated for a 5 p.m. start in St. Louis, Mo. on Wednesday, March 29. Games will be played at Blackburn Park.

Eureka and Webster are just two of three teams in the SLIAC currently with a winning overall record. Webster has a 12-7 overall mark while Eureka begins the week with a 6-4 mark. Wednesday's doubleheader marks the 2017 SLIAC opener for both teams.

     
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Eureka College 'RED DEVILS'

After reaching the 30 win plateau last season for the first time since 1996, the Red Devils are once again off and running this year. Eureka is 6-4 overall this season and is coming off a doubleheader sweep over Robert Morris-Springfield in which the Red Devils offense plated 19 runs.

Eureka is averaging 7.7 runs per game this season, hitting .310 as a team. Sophomore Kerrigan Dura, a First Team All-Conference performer last year, is once again leading the charge. Dura is hitting .481 this year with eight runs batted in and six walks to just one strikeout. Senior Lexi Litwiller is hitting .393 and has driven in nine while freshman Courtney Kurtz is hitting .412 with a team-high 10 runs batted in. In the circle, junior Kali George is the unquestioned leader, working a complete game in all five of her starts while holding a 2.63 earned-run average. Freshman Erin Smith has shown the ability to strikeout opponents, recording 21 strikeouts in 28 innings of work this season.

 

Webster University 'GORLOKS'

Webster started the year strong, winning their first ten games, the best start to a season for the Gorloks since the 2000 season. However, the Gorloks have struggled as of late, dropping seven of their last nine games including three in a row as they enter this week.

The Gorlok offense has shown the capability to bust a game open, plating a SLIAC best 118 runs this season. They are hitting .302 as a team and have hit a conference-best eight home runs. Senior Kayla Day leads the team with a .432 batting average while hitting two home runs with 11 runs batted in. A pair of freshmen, Abby Burroughs and Taylor White, have made an immediate impact for the Gorloks. Burroughs is hitting .371 with two home runs a team-high 16 RBI while White is hitting .354 and leads the team with six stolen bases. Juniors Chelsea Thornley and Morgan Mansur have each topped 45 inninings pitched this season while combining for 11 of the team's wins.

 

Last Meeting - April 29, 2016 in Eureka, Ill.
Game 1- Eureka 5, Webster 4 BOX SCORE
Game 2- Webster 15, Eureka 6 BOX SCORE

Eureka took game one of the doubleheader as Eureka pitcher Kali George held the Gorlok offense to just five hits. Rachel Patterson did the damage at the plate for the Red Devils, going 2-for-4 with three RBI. In game two Webster exploded for 15 runs on 11 hits with Emily Kolisch, Sidney Coleman, and Erin McGinnis all recording two hits. Katelyn Johnson added three RBI as Alexis Spriggs notched the win.

Game Notes

  • Webster leads the all-time series against Eureka 19-2, with the two teams splitting their doubleheader last season.
  • Not only are Eureka and Webster sitting atop the SLIAC standings currently, they were also ranked 4th (Eureka) and 5th (Webster) in the SLIAC Preseason Poll.
  • Webster is looking for their strong start to carry over into conference play; the Gorloks are looking for their first postseason appearance since 2012.
  • After being ranked 8th in the SLIAC Preseason Poll in 2016, the Red Devils shocked everyone and advanced to the program's third trip to the SLIAC Tournament.
  • The series features four of the top five pitchers in terms of E.R.A. in the league. Eureka's Kalie George (2.63) ranks 2nd and teammate Erin Smith (3.25) is 5th while Webster's Chelsea Thornley (2.68) is 3rd and teammate Morgan Mansur (2.93) is 4th.
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