MARYVILLE, Tenn. – The Emory & Henry College Softball Team (2-0) started the 2016 season in strong fashion, picking up a pair of wins over Centre College and Maryville (Tenn.) College. The Wasps defeated the Centre Colonels, 8-2, to start the day and picked up an 11-6 win over the Maryville Scots to close things out. With the victory over Centre, Head Coach Tommy Forrester earned his 50th win as the Wasps' skipper.
Game One – Emory & Henry 8, Centre 2
The Wasps got on the board with their first swings of the bat, scoring three runs in the first inning. Senior first baseman Taylor Doss (Damascus, Va.) notched a two-run single to highlight the frame.
Centre scored single runs in the third and fourth frames to draw the margin to 3-2, but E&H sophomore left fielder Danielle Loving (Elizabethton, Tenn.) drilled a three-run shot down the left field line in the bottom of the fourth to extend the lead to 6-2. Emory & Henry added a pair of insurance runs in the fifth for the final 8-2 score.
Loving went three-for-four with two runs and three RBI while sophomore Caley Hodge (Elizabethton, Tenn.) had a trio of hits. Doss drove in two with her base hit and drew three walks in the game as well. Senior Taylor Banner (Castlewood, Va.) picked up the win in the circle, scattering two runs and six hits over 4.1 innings with three strikeouts. Senior Kaitlyn Pruitt (Abingdon, Va.) picked up the save, allowing just one hit in 2.2 innings of work.
Ellen Stephens went three-for-four with a run scored to lead the Colonel's offense. Elysse Petrie suffered the loss, allowing six runs on seven hits in four innings pitched.
Game Two – Emory & Henry 11, Maryville (Tenn.) 6
Maryville started the scoring with a single run in the bottom of the first but Emory & Henry jumped ahead thanks to three runs in the third. Back-to-back two-out doubles by junior second baseman Riley Pudney (Beech Mountain, N.C.) and Loving got things going.
With the score 3-2 and two outs in the fourth, the Wasps put up three more runs on another pair of doubles by sophomore center fielder Leah Elswick (Raven, Va.) and Pudney to go up 6-2. Maryville made the score 6-3 in the fourth on a solo homer by Emilie Craven.
In the fifth, Pudney and Hodge each drove in a pair with base hits, highlighting a five-run inning which extended the lead to 11-3. Maryville avoided the run-rule stoppage of play after the fifth, scoring three runs on a pair of base hits and a sacrifice fly to make the final 11-6 margin.
Pudney had three hits, three runs and four RBI while Hodge added three hits and three RBI. Loving also drove in a pair on two hits and pitched in a pair of runs. Pruitt picked up the win, going 4.1 innings allowing four runs on eight hits while Banner pitched the final 2.2 in relief.
Five different Maryville players notched two hitsled by Craven with two RBI and Jessica McMahan with two runs scored. Morgan Corland suffered the loss, allowing six runs on seven hits in 3.2 innings despite striking out five.
Emory & Henry will face off against Centre and Maryville again on Sunday. The Wasps will play the Colonels at 9:00 a.m., and take on the Scots at 11:00 a.m. The game times have been moved one hour earlier than originally scheduled to help in beating out rain which is forecast for Sunday afternoon.
-photo courtesy of Caleb Johnston, E&H '15