EMORY, Va. – The Emory & Henry College Softball Team (15-25, 7-11 ODAC) solidified its spot in the 2016 Old Dominion Athletic Conference Tournament Saturday with a doubleheader sweep of Shenandoah University (8-28, 2-14 ODAC). The Wasps earned a 9-7 win in game one and completed the perfect day with an 11-3 victory in game two. E&H also honored its five seniors prior to the start of the first game.
Game One – Emory & Henry 9, Shenandoah 7
The Hornets got on the board in the top of the second but the Wasps answered with a run of their own to make the score 1-1. Sophomore third baseman Ragan Halsey (Hillsville, Va.) provided a single up the middle to drive in E&H's run.
Emory & Henry scored four times in the third to go up 5-1. Senior right fielder Hannah Bays (Abingdon, Va.) and sophomore left fielder Danielle Loving (Elizabethton, Tenn.) each had RBI singles in the inning while two other runs scored on back-to-back errors.
Shenandoah got a run back in the fourth on a leadoff home run by Kimberly Brady to make the score 5-2. After the Wasps scored on a single up the middle by sophomore designated player Caley Hodge (Elizabethton, Tenn.), the Hornets added a pair of runs on a double to centerfield by Lindsay Corbin for a 6-4 score.
In the bottom of the fifth, sophomore centerfielder Leah Elswick (Raven, Va.) singled through the left side to drive in a run and then E&H added two runs in the sixth for a 9-4 advantage. Loving had another RBI base hit while junior second baseman Riley Pudney (Beech Mountain, N.C.) drove in a run with a sacrifice fly.
Shenandoah scored three in the top of the seventh on back-to-back home runs. Corbin got things started with a one-out, two-run shot while Brady hit her second round-tripper of the day to close the gap to 9-7. The Wasps' defense held and got the final two outs of the game to seal the victory.
E&H was led by Hodge, who went four-for-four with a run and a RBI, while Bays had three hits, a run and a RBI. Loving finished the game with two hits, two runs and two RBI. Senior Taylor Banner (Castlewood, Va.) picked up the win, allowing four runs on seven hits with two strikeouts. Senior Kaitlyn Pruitt (Abingdon, Va.) converted the save, striking out three in two innings of work.
Brady was three-for-three with three runs and two RBI while Corbin finished with two hits, four RBI and a run. Corbin suffered the loss, however, allowing seven earned runs on 13 hits.
Game Two – Emory & Henry 11, Shenandoah 3 (six innings)
The Wasps jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the bottom of the first. Hodge tagged a three-run homer to left field to get things started and senior first baseman Taylor Doss (Damascus, Va.) added two runs thanks to a single up the middle later in the frame.
Emory & Henry made the score 9-0, scoring four runs in the second. Bays tagged a two-run shot to centerfield for her 23rd career home run, breaking the Wasps' program record. Four batters later, with two outs and one runner on, Doss hit a two-run homer of her own.
In the top of the third, Shenandoah got on the board with three runs. A single to centerfield by Karli Rorabaugh got the Hornets started and the other two runs came around on a pair of errors to make the score 9-3.
After three scoreless innings, Emory & Henry scored two runs in the bottom of the sixth to go ahead 11-3 and end the game via the Eight-Run Advantage Rule. With one on and no outs, Bays drilled her second home run of the game to centerfield to seal the victory.
Bays had three hits, three runs and four RBI in her record-breaking performance while freshman left fielder Erin Anderson (Aylett, Va.) added three hits and two runs. Doss had two hits, a run and four RBI while Hodge drove in three runs on her hit and scored twice. Pruitt earned the victory in the circle, pitching the final three innings of the game, allowing no runs on two hits and adding a strikeout.
Kayla O'Connell and Ashlyn Drake both had a hit and a run in the nightcap. Carrie Robinson suffered the loss, allowing seven runs on six hits and two walks in 3.2 innings pitched.
Emory & Henry will now await the announcement of the pairings for the 2016 ODAC Tournament which will be announced on Sunday. The eight-team, double-elimination event will take place from Friday, April 29 to Sunday, May 1 at the James I. Moyer Sports Complex in Salem, Virginia.
-photo courtesy of Caleb Johnston, E&H '15