OXFORD, Ala. – The Eastern Kentucky University softball team won its first Ohio Valley Conference Championship since 2004 with a 5-4 win over Southeast Missouri State on Saturday afternoon.
Eastern Kentucky (35-15, 22-9 OVC) again got off to a quick start against the Redhawks.
Zoe Mihalicz got things started with a single over the first baseman’s head. Carly Robinson followed with a walk and Vianna Barron singled up the middle to load the bases with one out in the inning. Isabella Gonzalez worked a five pitch walk to score Mihalicz and give the Colonels an early 1-0 lead.
Southeast Missouri (30-17, 23-6 OVC) answered back in the top of the second on a solo home run by Ashley Ellis to tie the game at 1-1.
The Colonels didn’t take long to respond.
With two outs in the bottom of the second, Sammi Miller worked a walk to extend the inning. Mihalicz delivered in a big way. She took the 2-2 pitch over the left field fence to retake the lead over the Redhawks, 3-1.
Southeast Missouri did not go down without a fight.
The Redhawks hit back-to-back-to-back solo home runs in the top of the fourth to take their first lead of the game over the Colonels, 4-3.
That set up late inning heroics for the Colonels in the bottom of the fifth.
Mihalicz picked up her third hit of the game with an infield single to get the inning started. Robinson flexed her muscles after that. Robinson took the 0-1 pitch over the right center field fence to retake the lead for EKU, 5-4.
Samantha Reynoso (6-2) was lights out after that. Reynoso tossed three and two-third innings, allowing zero runs and striking out four. Tori Peterson started in the circle tossing three and one-third innings, allowing one run and striking out two.
Mihalicz went 3-for-3 with one home run and two RBIs. Robinson went 1-for-2 with one home run and two RBIs.
Sammi Miller, Vianna Barron, Carly Robinson, Mollie Paulick and Zoe Mihalicz were named to the All-OVC Tournament team. Samantha Reynoso was named the tournament MVP.
The Colonels are working on the details of a NCAA Selection Show watch party on campus. Eastern will find out who they play tomorrow night at 9 p.m. ET. The selection show will air live on ESPN2.