NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. – Senior catcher Lexi Litwiller (Eureka, Ill./Eureka H.S./Lincoln) and sophomore shortstop Kerrigan Dura (Edwards, Ill./Brimfield H.S.) smashed three hits apiece to help the Eureka College softball team rally for a 9-2 victory over Hilbert, Monday afternoon at the Fastpitch Dreams Spring Classic in North Myrtle Beach, S.C. The Red Devils followed with a nine-run first inning in the second game of the day en route to an 18-4 drubbing of John Jay, moving to 3-1 on the annual spring trip.
Eureka trailed 2-1 in the opener versus Hilbert before a consecutive run-scoring hits by Dura, Litwiller and senior Kali George (East Peoria, Ill./East Peoria H.S.) in the third inning helped EC secure a 5-2 cushion.
The Red Devils further extended the lead to 7-2 in the bottom of the fourth when the Hawks allowed two runs to score on a misplayed bunt. EC made it 9-2 in the bottom of the sixth when newcomers Morgan Osborn (Washington, Ill./Washington H.S.) and Ashanti Pollard (Country Club Hills, Ill./Rich Central H.S.) collected RBI hits.
Dura went 3-for-4 with a double and two RBI. Litwiller also had a 3-for-4 day with an RBI. The first five Red Devils in the batting order scored a run and six different players had at least one RBI.
The 12-hit outburst was more than enough for George in the circle, who navigated around two hits and an error in the HC second inning to record her first win of the season. George didn't allow an earned run over 7.0 innings, striking out four and walking only one.
Eureka left little doubt to the outcome of Monday's second game against John Jay, sending 14 batters to the plate in the first inning to build a 9-0 lead. Dura's triple down the left-field line brought around junior center fielder Krysten Wallace (Bartonville, Ill./Limestone H.S.) for the first run of the game. Courtney Kurtz (Minooka, Ill./Minooka H.S.), Erin Smith (Dunlap, Ill./Dunlap H.S.) and Bridget Bankes (East Peoria, Ill./East Peoria H.S.) also contributed run-scoring hits during the frame.
The Red Devils scored in all four innings in which they would bat. All nine starters hit safely and Dura, George, Kurtz and Smith logged two hits apiece. Smith, who named SLIAC Pitcher of the Week earlier in the day, doubled twice with five RBI. Dura tripled twice.
Sophomore Kylie Whightsil (Spring Valley, Ill./Hall H.S.) and Smith combined to limit the Bloodhounds to three earned runs over 5.0 innings.
Eureka, off to a 3-1 start or better for the third time in the last four seasons in North Myrtle Beach, will play two more times Tuesday. EC will play Eastern Mennonite at 8:30 a.m. CST and Penn State-Harrisburg at 10:30 a.m. CST.