SALEM, Va. – The Emory & Henry College Softball Team (34-13) completed its historical run in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference Tournament Sunday, finishing as the league's runner-up. The #4 Wasps knocked off top-seeded and No. 1 nationally-ranked Virginia Wesleyan College (43-2) in the first game of the day 3-1, forcing a deciding game for the Championship. The Marlins earned their 10th ODAC title with a 2-0 win in a replay between the two teams.
The Wasps earned five wins in three days, advancing to the conference championship for the first time since winning the league title in 2003. Emory & Henry also had the honor of eliminating three of their opponents from further play in the tournament.
GAME 14 - #4 Emory & Henry 3, #1 Virginia Wesleyan 1
GAME 15 - #1 Virginia Wesleyan 2, #4 Emory & Henry 0
LOCATION – Salem, Virginia – James I. Moyer Sports Complex
RECORDS – Emory & Henry (34-13); Virginia Wesleyan (43-2)
Game 14 - #4 Emory & Henry 3, #1 Virginia Wesleyan 1
- Virginia Wesleyan got out to a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning as Blake Henderson hit a solo home run to left field.
- Down to its final three outs, E&H's offense came alive in the seventh. With two outs and runners on first and third, junior first baseman Caley Hodge (Elizabethton, Tenn.) belted a rocket to left-center, clearing the fence for her third home run of the weekend.
- The Wasps' defense held in the bottom of the frame to force the "if necessary" game to decide the league champion.
- Freshman Tiffany Cole (Wise, Va.) earned the win in relief, pitching the final 4.1 innings in shutout form, allowing just three hits. Hannah Hull suffered just her second loss of the year, allowing three runs on seven hits despite eight strikeouts.
Game 15 - #1 Virginia Wesleyan 2, #4 Emory & Henry 0
- The Marlins kicked off the "if" game with a bang, as Cassity Howerin drilled a long fly ball over the right centerfield wall for a 1-0 lead in the first.
- E&H's best chance came in the fifth, as the Wasps loaded the bases with one out but were unable to push a run across. VWC notched an insurance run in the bottom of the frame on a solo home run down the right field line by Kaylah Duplain.
- Virginia Wesleyan's defense held strong, retiring the final six Emory & Henry batters of the game in order to preserve the 2-0 advantage for the ODAC Championship.
- Courtney Wright pitched five shutout innings, scattering five hits and four strikeouts to pick up the win. Hull was credited with the save, fanning one in the seventh inning.
- Junior Emily Kendrick (Honaker, Va.) took the loss for the Wasps, but only allowed two runs on five hits with one strikeout in 4.2 innings of work.
- Emory & Henry will now await the announcement of the All-ODAC awards as well as the release of the NCAA Division III Tournament bracket.
- The all-conference selections will be released on Tuesday by the league office while the NCAA Tournament field will happen on Monday, May 8 at 1:00 p.m. via a selection show on NCAA.com.
ODAC Championship All-Tournament Team
Erin Anderson, Emory & Henry
Ragan Halsey, Emory & Henry
Caley Hodge, Emory & Henry
Emily Kendrick, Emory & Henry
Makayla Carver, Guilford
Savannah Wood, Randolph-Macon
Kaylah Duplain, Virginia Wesleyan
Blake Henderson, Virginia Wesleyan
Cassetty Howerin, Virginia Wesleyan
Kiersten Richardson, Virginia Wesleyan
Most Outstanding Player - Hanna Hull, Virginia Wesleyan