RICHMOND, Ky. -- Belmont Softball got off to a rough start for its final week of the regular season on Wednesday. The Bruins (22-24, 3-15 OVC) dropped a pair on the road at Eastern Kentucky (35-14, 17-1 OVC), being edged 1-0 in the first game before falling 6-0 in the nightcap.
The programs were locked in a pitching duel through the first four innings as sophomore Brooklin Lee (Burns, Tenn.) notched her 200th strikeout of the season midway through the third stanza.
The Bruins had their best chance to score in the top of the fifth inning. After loading the bases with only one out, thanks to junior Baylee Cook (Lewisburg, Tenn.) being hit by a pitch, senior Jess Andree (Darien, Ill.) driving a single deep to left and classmate Lexi Rouse (Macon, Ga.) reaching on four balls, the Bruins were unable to send a run over the plate. Fueled by the near miss in the other half of the inning, the Colonels used a solo homerun to left field to post what would become the game's lone run. Neither team was able to record a hit or a run over the final inning and a half, sealing the 1-0 win for the Colonels.
EKU was once again the first to make a mark on the scoreboard in the nightcap, using a two two-run homer to get started. The Colonels exploded for a total of five runs by the end of the inning, despite a BU pitching change. Eastern Kentucky then used another homerun to expand its lead to 6-0 in the bottom of the third frame as the Bruins struggled to find an offensive rhythm to get on the board. Belmont notched its first hit of the contest in the top of the fourth, with a double by sophomore Emily Bauersachs (Campbell Hill, Ill.), her first of the season putting a pair of runners in scoring position. Unfortunately, they were left stranded as EKU clamped down defensively again.
Belmont had what looked to be an excellent opportunity to get on the board in the top of the sixth inning. Andree let loose a ball deep, nearly over the centerfield wall that was pulled back into fair territory, halting her homerun attempt. BU's bats were kept quiet over the final half inning and the team fell, 6-0.
For the day, Bauersachs, Cook and Andree each recorded a hit.
Inside the circle, Lee went the distance in the first game, logging six strikeouts. In the nightcap, Rouse and freshman Alicia Veltri (Clarksville, Tenn.) split time. Veltri fanned five batters over her pitching duty.
Belmont returns to action in Nashville on Friday. The Bruins take on crosstown rival Tennessee State for a doubleheader beginning at 11 a.m. Live stats will be available.