NORTH MYTRLE BEACH, S.C. – The Emory & Henry College Softball Team (7-9) completed its slate of games at the Fastpitch Dreams Spring Classic with two more victories Thursday morning. The Wasps defeated the Lions of Penn State-Altoona, 2-1, and topped La Roche College by a 10-1 score at the North Myrtle Beach Sports Complex. E&H completes its annual Spring Break trip with a 4-2 record.
Game One – Emory & Henry 2, Penn State-Altoona 1
Runs came at a premium in the first game of the day. After stranding two in the first and one in the second, Emory & Henry got on the board in the top of the third inning. Sophomore centerfielder Jordan Whitcomb (Rocky Mount, Va.) drew a leadoff walk and after stealing second and advancing to third on a ground out, was driven home by sophomore designated player Caley Hodge (Elizabethton, Tenn.).
The Lions answered with a run in the bottom of the inning to knot the score, 1-1. With a runner on third base and two outs, Kate Burge reached on an error which allowed the run to score. The fourth, fifth and sixth innings saw no score but the Wasps had base runners in each frame.
Emory & Henry got the go-ahead score in the top of the seventh. Junior second baseman Riley Pudney (Beech Mountain, N.C.) hit a double to left field and was driven home by Hodge on the next at bat for the 2-1 advantage.
Altoona was able to get the tying run aboard in the bottom of the inning with two outs but the E&H defense closed out the game.
Hodge got on base in three of her four plate appearances with a hit and two walks, driving in both of the Wasps runs. Pudney, senior first baseman Taylor Doss (Damascus, Va.), sophomore left fielder Danielle Loving (Elizabethton, Tenn.) and senior pitcher Taylor Banner (Castlewood, Va.) each had two hits in the game. Banner threw a gem in the circle to earn the win, allowing just one unearned run on two hits with a strikeout. The right-hander moves to 3-0 on her birthday.
Lauren O'Donnell led the way for the Lions with a run and a hit while Allison Simpson notched the other base knock. Kate Burge suffered the loss in relief, allowing a run on five hits in 3.2 innings despite five strikeouts.
Game Two – Emory & Henry 10, La Roche 1 (six innings)
The Wasps scored in all but one inning as they pounded out 15 hits for the 10-1, run-rule win. E&H got two runs in the top of the first and added two in the second. Sophomore centerfielder Leah Elswick (Raven, Va.) had a triple and a run scored in both innings.
In the fourth Emory & Henry scored three runs to push its lead to 7-0 thanks to three hits, two errors and a sacrifice fly. La Roche got on the board in the bottom of the fourth on a single to left field which drove in Aubriatta Martin.
The Wasps got a run back in the fifth to push the advantage to 8-1 and scored two more in the sixth for the 10-1 advantage. Freshmen Holly Britt (Floyd, Va.) and Vangie Borchert (Asheboro, N.C.) had RBI base hits in the sixth frame.
Elswick went three-for-four with two runs and two RBI while freshman outfielder Erin Anderson (Aylett, Va.) put up three hits, a run and a RBI. Doss and freshman catcher Amanda Whitlow (Riner, Va.) added two hits apiece. Senior left-hander Kaitlyn Pruitt (Abingdon, Va.) earned the complete-game win scattering eight hits and three strikeouts over six innings.
Kara Sainato went three-for-three while Vanessa Similie and Samantha Scopel had two hits each. Savannah Leonard took the loss, allowing seven runs on 10 hits in 3.2 innings.
Emory & Henry will next compete on Wednesday, March 16 when it travels to Demorest, Georgia for a non-conference doubleheader against Piedmont College. First pitch is scheduled for noon.
-photo courtesy of Conner Gilbert, PSU-Altoona Athletics