BRISTOL, Tenn./EMORY, Va. – The Emory & Henry College Softball Team hosted the inaugural Emory & Henry Fall Showcase on Saturday, October 8 at Whitetop Creek Park. Participating teams included King University (Division II, Bristol, Tenn.), Truett-McConnell College (NAIA, Cleveland, Ga.) and Greensboro College (Division III, Greensboro, N.C.). Three 18-U travel teams also participated in the event, playing games throughout the day on Sunday. Emory & Henry picked up an 8-5 win against Greensboro and an 8-0 victory against Truett-McConnell before dropping the nightcap to King, 9-2.
In the opening game, Greensboro broke a scoreless tie with a run in the fourth inning and added four more runs in the top of the fifth inning to take a 5-0 advantage. The Wasps came swarming back with five runs in the bottom of the fifth and added three more runs in the sixth to secure the 8-5 comeback victory. Senior shortstop Riley Pudney led the way with three hits. The junior trio of Leah Elswick, Caley Hodge, and Danielle Loving added two hits apiece. The trio's six hits included four doubles and four RBI's. Sophomore left fielder Holly Britt gave the Wasps the lead with a blast over the right field fence to lead off the bottom of the sixth. Junior transfer Emily Kendrick started the contest in the circle surrendering five runs, six hits, and striking out five over 4.2 innings. Freshman pitcher Tiffany Cole picked up the win in relief by throwing 2.1 scoreless innings.
Cole remained strong in game two, throwing a complete game shutout versus Truett-McConnell College. The freshman from Wise, Virginia scattered nine hits, struck out two, and surrendered no walks. Cole helped her cause at the plate reaching base in all four plate appearances including three hits and a walk. Pudney posted another multi-hit game (2-for-3) while senior Jordan Chrisley caught all seven innings behind the plate and added a line drive RBI single. It was Chrisley's first game back after a season-ending knee injury last February. Freshmen Caitlyn Yates and Alex Thomas added strong games for the Wasps. Yates reached base three times, stole two bases, and scored twice. Thomas had two hits including two RBI in her first college action. Seniors Ragan Halsey, Alison Hughs, and Brittany Scott also made big contributions. Halsey doubled home a run in the fourth inning and made a flurry of strong plays at third base, Hughs plated a run with a pinch hit line drive single to right field in the seventh inning, and Scott made a sparkling diving catch in left field and scored a run with a nifty slide under the catcher's tag in the fourth inning.
King University took advantage of two Wasps' errors in the first inning of the final game and jumped out to a 3-0 lead. The Tornado added four runs in the fourth and two more in the sixth to claim the 9-2 victory. Kendrick started for the Wasps in the circle, surrendering five earned runs on eight hits in five innings pitched. The junior from Honaker, Va. struck out five, giving her 10 K's on the day. Yates pitched the final two innings, giving up two runs on two hits with a strikeout. Pudney added her third multi-hit game of the day, going two-for-three with a run scored. Pudney ended the day 7-for-10 in three combined games.
Other highlights of the fall season included the "Emory & Henry World Series" and an Alumnae Day. Team Emory took a very competitive "Emory & Henry World Series" three games to two. The Wasps' team divided into two teams - "Team Emory" and "Team Henry"- and played its first four games of a best of five series over a retreat weekend that involved softball, goal setting, and team bonding. The team wrapped up the series at home with game five on Saturday, September 24. Yates picked up two of the three pitching victories for Team Emory while Kendrick picked up a complete game win in decisive game five and picked up a save in game four. Britt and freshman Courtney Herron led the way offensively for Team Emory. Britt had a batting average of .533 in the Series while Herron hit a series high .625. Team Henry was led by Hodge and freshman Lyndsay Boyd. Hodge hit .467 with two homeruns while Boyd hit a team high .615 during the series.
Alumnae day featured two intrasquad games, an alumnae game, and a cookout for players and families. It was a heart-warming day for the E&H softball program as 16 alumnae returned to campus to participate. Among the alumnae in attendance was pitching record-holder Sarah Caldwell Wellenhoffer. Wellenhoffer became the third softball player to be inducted into the Emory & Henry Sports Hall of Fame this past Saturday. Other alums in attendance were Jenae Morrissey, Robin Phelps, Rue Atkins, Shannon Kelly Mason, Meaghan Funk Rookstool, Taylor Doss, Bethany Anderson, Alyssa Clark, Brandy Bryant, Roxanne Hillman, Hannah Bays, Cortney Halsey, Ashley Ebersole Mellert, Veronica Blankenship, and Coach Shannon Farley Piedmont.
Summing up the fall season, sophomore catcher Amanda Whitlow commented, "This fall was just a glimpse of the greatness yet to come. I believe that this team will accomplish all of our goals that we have set for ourselves." Head Coach Tommy Forrester added, "It should be a fun spring in Emory! I wish it were already January and we could start practicing for the regular season. This team loves to compete and has such high character, they are fun to coach and I know our fans will enjoy seeing them play."
-Head Coach Tommy Forrester contributed to this article
-photo courtesy of Caleb Johnston, E&H '15