SALEM, Va. – The Emory & Henry College Softball Team (15-27) brought its 2016 season to a close Friday afternoon with a pair of losses in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference Tournament. The Wasps, seeded eighth in this year's postseason event, fell by a 9-1 score to #1 Virginia Wesleyan in Game 1 and exited the tournament via a 9-1 setback to four seed Lynchburg College in Game 5.
Game One - #1 Virginia Wesleyan 9, #8 Emory & Henry 1 (six innings)
Emory & Henry got out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first when sophomore left fielder Danielle Loving (Elizabethton, Tenn.) singled to centerfield, driving in senior right fielder Hannah Bays (Abingdon, Va.). Bays reached base two batters earlier, singling to right-center.
The Marlins tied things up in the bottom of the third on a single to left-center by Liz Bailey. VWC took a 3-1 advantage in the fourth when Jessica Lindsay tagged a two-run homer to left field.
Four more runs for nationally-ranked Virginia Wesleyan came in the bottom of the fifth on four base knocks. Bailey got the scoring for the inning started with a double down the left field line. In the fifth, the Marlins sealed the eight-run victory with a two-run double to centerfield by Cassetty Howerin.
Howerin drove in three rins on two hits while Bailey and Lindsay each plated a pair with their two base knocks. Mary Shipp picked up the win, scattering one run on four hits with six strikeouts over six innings.
Bays had a hit and a run for Emory & Henry while Loving's base knock provided the driving force for the Wasps' offense. Senior right-hander Taylor Banner (Castlewood, Va.) suffered the loss, allowing six runs on seven hits.
Game Five - #4 Lynchburg 9, #8 Emory & Henry 1 (five innings)
Lynchburg scored a pair of runs in the bottom of the first inning. Danielle Powell doubled to left centerfield to start things off and Brittany Coffey drove in a run for the Hornets to make the score 2-0.
The Wasps cut the margin to 2-1 in the second frame on a solo home run by sophomore designated player Caley Hodge (Elizabethton, Tenn.). The round-tripper was Hodge's team-leading seventh on the season.
In the second, LC got four runs to extend its advantage to 6-1. A two-run double to centerfield by Powell was the highlight of the frame. The Hornets added another run in the bottom of the fourth to take a 7-1 lead and ended the game in the fifth with two runs. Logan Walker hit a walk-off single to left centerfield for the 9-1 final margin.
Powell went two-for-three with two runs and three RBI while Walker added two hits and a pair of RBI. Conner English allowed one run on one hit in four innings pitched for the win, striking out four.
Emory & Henry will now await the announcement of the All-ODAC Teams which will be released early next week after the completion of the conference tournament.
-photo courtesy of Caleb Johnston, E&H '15