SALEM, Va. – The Emory & Henry College Softball Team (14-24) has advanced to the second day of the 2012 Old Dominion Athletic Conference tournament, going 1-1 on the day. Eighth-seeded E&H overcame a 1-0 defeat in the first game of the day against #1 Virginia Wesleyan College, rallying to defeat fourth-seed Lynchburg College, 9-5, in an elimination game Friday afternoon.
Game One - #1 Virginia Wesleyan 1, #8 Emory & Henry 0
The Wasps and the regular season champion Marlins battled to a scoreless tie through six and a half innings. VWC found itself facing two outs in the bottom of the seventh and extra innings seemed imminent. A triple gave the Marlins the boost they needed and a walk-off single to right field drove in the winning run.
Virginia Wesleyan's Kristina Karagiorgis moved to 15-3 on the year as she picked up the shutout, scattering four hits and two walks over seven innings of work while striking out 10. E&H freshman Brandy Bryant (Salem, Va.) struck out six in her homecoming appearance, allowing just five hits in the contest.
Senior shortstop Jenae Morrissey (Utica, N.Y.) was two-for-three at the plate for E&H while Brianna Bertovich equaled the mark for VWC.
Game Five - #8 Emory & Henry 9, #4 Lynchburg 5
In Emory & Henry's second game of the day, the Wasps got the contest started with a run in the bottom of the first. After Morrissey doubled to lead off the inning, junior catcher Ashley Ebersole (Maurertown, Va.) sacrificed to move Morrissey to third. A single by junior designated player Veronica Blankenship (Roanoke, Va.) made the score 1-0.
Lynchburg took a 2-1 lead in the top of the fourth on a pair of singles by Skylar Seals and Sarah Smith. The Wasps tied the contest in the bottom of the frame on a RBI single by sophomore Jennifer True (Utica, N.Y.), scoring sophomore third baseman Martha Fluharty (Halifax, N.C.) from third.
The Hornets retook the lead in the fifth on an error and added to their lead in the top of the sixth. A RBI double by Taylor Walker highlighted the frame for Lynchburg as they went up 5-2.
E&H's season appeared as if it was coming to a close. In the bottom of the sixth, E&H reeled off seven runs on seven hits and took advantage of two Lynchburg errors to take a 9-5 lead. Five straight singles with one out got things started, but a two-out, two-run single by Morrissey proved to be the difference maker in the inning.
The Hornets were able to get a leadoff double in the top of the seventh, but three straight outs sealed the deal for the Wasps to advance to Saturday play.
Bryant picked up the win in relief for Emory & Henry, improving to 5-7 on the year as she struck out three in five innings of work. Hope Johnson took the loss for the Hornets, allowing four runs on four hits during the Wasps' decisive sixth inning.
Morrissey led E&H at the plate, going two-for-four with two RBI and a run while Blankenship, Fluharty, True and junior centerfielder Cortney Halsey (Independence, Va.) each had two hits in the contest as well. Lynchburg's Walker was three-for-three with two runs and a RBI while Amber Sulter also reached base safely three times.
Emory & Henry will take on the Royals of Eastern Mennonite University at 11:00 a.m., at the Moyer Softball Complex in Salem. The winner of the contest will play again at 5:00 p.m., while the loser will be eliminated from the tournament.