EASTERN KENTUCKY 5, TOWSON 4 (8)
RICHMOND, KY – Eastern Kentucky (43-19) trailed almost the entirety of the early matchup against Towson (42-18) but thanks to a pair of heroic swings in the seventh and eighth innings, the Colonels survived 5-4.
The Tigers jumped out to the early hot start they were looking for. A sacrifice fly from Brooke Miko followed by an RBI single from Nicole Stockinger gave Towson and early 2-0 lead after the opening frame.
Two innings later, senior Johnkyria Alston utilized her speed to leg out a fielder’s choice, scoring Paige Murphy to put the Colonels on the board. Not to be outdone, freshmen Zoe Mihalicz delivered an RBI single to tie the game at two.
With a runner on and one out in the top of the fourth inning, Stockinger stretched the Tiger to lead, 4-2, with a home run to deep left center field, giving her three RBI on the afternoon.
Facing elimination, Johnkyria Alston wasn’t about to let her softball career at EKU finish just yet. On a 2-0 count, Alston rocketed a ball over the left field fence to tie the game at four and send the game into extra-innings.
Momentum in hand, Destinee Lizzmore stunned Towson with a walk-off solo home run in the bottom of the eighth inning to force an extra contest.
The two schools will meet one last time to decide the Regional Championship. The winner will join UT Arlington, UC Riverside and host Loyola Marymount in Los Angeles, California at the NISC Championship.
EASTERN KENTUCKY 9, TOWSON 2
RICHMOND, KY – Faced with the tough task of defeating Towson (42-19) for the second time in as many games, Eastern Kentucky (44-19) took down the Tigers once again, 9-2, advancing to the NISC Championship Round.
Madison Wilson started the Tigers off in the same fashion as game one. Wilson’s RBI base hit in the first inning followed by a throwing error in the second gave Towson the 2-0 lead.
Johnkyria Alston, one of the heroes in the first game on Saturday, kept her good form going in the second. Trailing by two and with the bases loaded in the fifth inning, Alston conjured up a two-RBI double to tie the game. Three more runs drifted across the plate before the bottom half of the frame, giving EKU the 5-2 lead.
Emily Corbitt slammed the door shut on the Tigers, thanks to her grand slam in the sixth inning, extending the Colonels advantage, 9-2.
In the circle, Murphy McRoberts gave up only four hits, one walk and one earned run for head coach Jane Worthington.
For Towson, Madison Wilson delivered the only RBI for the Tigers in game two. Freshmen pitcher Melissa Abrahamian pitched four solid innings before giving up five runs in the fifth. Towson ends its first postseason appearance in program history.
The Colonels, fresh off hosting a postseason tournament for the first time, will move on the Championship Round next week in Los Angeles. The first games are slated for Wednesday, May 23.