College softball

Eastern finishes sweep of NCU

Offense explodes in opening 10-2 rout; Spence tosses gem in 1-0 nightcap to finish off Beacons

Observer staff

Eastern Oregon completed a sweep of Northwest Christian, defeating the Beacons in a doubleheader Monday, 10-2 in five innings, and 1-0. The first game was a Cascade Collegiate Conference matchup, the second was nonconference.

EOU 10, NCU 2, 5 innings: Cheyenne Barker and Lauren Burchak both hit home runs and Barker had four RBIs as the Mountaineers scored the first 10 runs in a rout.

Barker’s RBI double and Burchak’s two run shot staked EOU to a 3-0 first-inning lead. Maryssa Santi highlighted a four-run third with a two-run triple. Barker, who also had three hits and scored three runs, finished the offensive onslaught with a two-run blast in the fourth inning for a 10-0 Eastern lead.

Six of EOU’s nine hits were extra-base hits. Chelsea Spanier had two hits and scored twice, and Burchak also scored two runs.

Haylie Van Laethem allowed just two runs, both in the fifth inning. The senior, who picked up her third victory finished allowing just four hits, walking three and striking out one in five innings.

EOU 1, NCU 0: Cheyenne Barker drove in the game’s only run with a first-inning sacrifice fly, and Alexis Spence tossed a two-hit shutout as the Mountaineers completed the sweep.

Spence tossed her first complete game shutout for EOU, allowing just singles to Avery Daniels and Madison Jones. The senior right-hander walked one and struck out five, and took a perfect game into the fifth before Daniels’ single. Only one Beacon managed to get to second base against Spence.

Barker’s sacrifice fly drove in Taylor Gerlach early and proved crucial as the EOU offense managed just five hits of its own against NCU starter Katie Walker. Lena Richards had two hits to lead the way for the Mountaineers.

Walker struck out three and walked three in seven innings.

EOU (8-7 overall, 4-2 CCC) returns home Friday and Saturday for a pair of doubleheaders against Great Falls.

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The La Grande Observer
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Monday March 27, 2017

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