Gannon Lifts Blue Jays To Game One Victory Over Red Devils And Split Series

Picture by Caleb Maassen.
Picture by Caleb Maassen.

Eureka, IL. 4/23/2022- The Westminster College softball team traveled to Illinois for a SLIAC doubleheader against the Eureka Red Devils. This game was named the Game of the Week and it did not disappoint. Blue Jay's first baseman, Eva Gannon (Wentzville, Mo. / Holt) tied a school record with seven RBIs in one game. She has been seeing the ball well of late and that would culminate in game one, going five for five from the plate and hitting two home runs in the same inning. Gannon has now hit three home runs in as many games. The Blue Jays would take game one with a final score of 17-9. Eureka would win game two 7-3. Westminster has won four of its last six games and looks to keep the momentum going as they head into the final six games of the season. The Blue Jays are now 6-8 in conference and 8-18 overall. The Red Devils are 7-7 in conference and 12-19 overall on the year.

Game One: Box Score

The Blue Jays struck first scoring one run in the first inning after a Raigan Mckee (Oologah, OK / Oologah)sacrifice fly scored Emily Esquivel (San Diego, Ca. / Eastlake) from third. The Red Devils tied the game at 1-1 in the bottom half. Then the Blue Jays would erupt offensively and score eleven runs in the second inning.

Kasey Ginder (Kirkwood, Mo. / Kirkwood) got the party started with a single to right field. Bailee Zemianek (Wentzville, MO / Holt) got a base hit to center. Then Gannon would step to the plate and blasted a three-run home to left-center field. Abbey Jaspering (Wright City, Mo. / Wright City) kept the line moving with a single through the left side. The Red Devils would record the first out of the inning after snagging a Blue Jay line drive to the shortstop. The Jays would then get six consecutive runners on base. Gannon would cap off the inning with another three-run home run to left, her second of the inning. When it was all said and done, the Blue Jays would score eleven runs on ten hits, including the two home runs by Gannon to take a commanding 12-1 lead.

The bats would stay quiet for a few innings. That would change in the top of the fourth when the Blue Jays come up to bat after giving up a run to the Red Devils after a throwing error in the previous half-inning. Gannon would lead off the inning and record her third hit on the day with a base hit to left field. Janae Shirk (Springfield, Mo. / Pleasant Hope) and Kelsey Logan (Fulton, Mo./ South Callaway) followed suit with back-to-back singles of their own to load the bases. The Blue Jays' senior shortstop Laney Rosson (Columbia, Mo. / Battle) would deliver an RBI single to center. Mckee would hit a sac fly to score the second run of the inning, giving her team a 14-2 lead.

The Red Devils would not be going away without a fight. They plated four runs in the bottom of the fourth. They would score one more run in the fifth and two in the sixth to make the score 14-9. The Blue Jays would negate the comeback by scoring three runs of their own in the top of the seventh.

Raegen Dickinson (Ozark, MO / Ozark) drew a lead-off walk. Zemianek hit got hit through the left side of the infield to move the runner-up to second. Gannon would step to the plate for the fifth time in the game and cap off a career day by hitting an RBI single to left-center field, her seventh RBI of the game. Jaspering would load the bases after getting on base with an infield single. Kayleigh Fike (Eldon, Mo. / Eldon) stepped to the plate with the bases loaded. During her at-bat, Zemianek would score on a wild pitch. Then Fike would rope a base hit to left-center field, scoring Gannon. The Blue Jays would win with a final score of 17-9.

Haley Miller (O'Fallon, MO / Liberty) pitched a complete game, going seven full innings. She would strike out four batters on the day and recorded her fourth win of the season.

The Blue Jays were led by Gannon going a perfect 5 for 5 with the seven RBIs and two home runs. Shirk went 3 for 3 with two runs scored. Zemianek went 2 for 3 with three runs scored.

Game Two: Box Score

The Red Devils jumped all over the Blue Jays at the start of game two, scoring six runs in the first three innings and holding the Jays scoreless through the first four innings of play. The Blue Jays would score their first run of the game in the fifth inning to bring the score to 6-1. Eureka would tack on one more run in the bottom half of the inning to make it 7-1.

Westminster would get a rally going in the top of the sixth with back-to-back base hits by Ginder and Gannon. Jaspering would double to center, scoring Ginder and moving Gannon up to third. Mckee would score Gannon after a sacrifice fly ball to right field. And that would be all the Blue Jays would get and the Red Devils would snuff out the comeback attempt. Winning game two with a final score of 7-3.

Erin Carr (Woodlawn, Il / Christ Our Rock Lutheran) got the start and pitched five innings. She would strike out three batters in the game. Zemianek came in to pitch the final inning and would record two strikeouts.

The Blue Jays will be back on the field on Monday, April 25th after an unfavorable forecast moved the games back. Westminster will host the Blackburn College Beavers for a doubleheader scheduled for noon and 2:00 p.m. Senior Day festivities will be held prior to game one.