Softball Women Make Noise In ODAC Tourney Before Being Eliminated

One of the greatest third basemen in EMU history, Mariah Foltz leaves with 336 career assists. (photo by Scott Eyre)
One of the greatest third basemen in EMU history, Mariah Foltz leaves with 336 career assists. (photo by Scott Eyre)

Seeding held true in the ODAC Softball Tournament, where seventh seeded EMU was knocked out on the first day with a pair of losses. The Royals came close to upsetting Randolph-Macon in the opener before getting out-hit by Guilford in the loser's bracket.

Eastern Mennonite ends the year with a record of 22-16.

No. 16 Randolph-Macon 3, EMU 2
The Royals got the chances they wanted against nationally ranked Randolph-Macon, but just couldn't cash in.

The small-ball Yellow Jackets got on board quickly, utilizing three hits and four stolen bases to score three runs over the first two frames. R-MC loaded the bases with just one out in the third, but pitcher Sydney Reath (Chambersburg, Pa./Mercersburg Academy) coaxed a chopper back to the circle for a 1-2-3 inning-ending double play.

The defensive play gave the Royals some offensive momentum in the fourth. Mariah Foltz (Broadway, Va./Broadway) shot a one-out single to center. After a fielder's choice made for the second out, Lauren Seale (Madison, Va./Madison County) walked and Savannah Jones (Stanley, Va./Page County) loaded the bases with a single. Freshman Cassidey Chrisman (Staunton, Va./Riverheads) came through with a bloop single down the left field line, scoring two runs to cut R-MC's lead to one.

Randolph-Macon put two runners on in each of their next three at-bats, but each time Seale, who relieved Reath in the fourth, worked the Royals out of the jam.

Offensively, however, the women were held in check by R-MC ace Candace Whittemore. Finally with one out in the seventh, Michaela Nichols (Luray, Va./Luray) got things rolling with a one-out single. After a strikeout, the Royals' patient approach at the plate started to pay dividends, as Whittemore sailed past 100 pitches in the game. Back-to-back walks loaded the bases, bringing up Foltz, the No. 3 batter. However, the senior sent a hot shot down to third, which was cleanly fielded for a forceout to cut off the rally and end the game.

EMU had six hits and three walks off Whittemore, forcing R-MC's right-hander to 111 pitches. Jones finished 2-3 in her first collegiate tournament game. Beck Hoskins (Danville, Va./Westover Christian Academy) had a single and walk. Chrisman had the only two RBIs.

Reath pitched the first 3.0 frames, giving up all three runs and falling to 11-6. Seale gave up three hits and four walks but no runs in 3.0 innings of relief.

 

Guilford 9, EMU 2
The first inning gave a good snapshot of the entire game. Each team got their leadoff batter on, but EMU left their stranded at second while the Quakers brought in the run.

Guilford again got their leadoff batter on in the second, but this time it snowballed into a six-run inning for a big 7-0 lead. Pitcher Makayla Carver helped her own cause with a three-run double.

Alexa Sheets (Bridgewater, Va./Turner Ashby) reached on a single to shortstop to get EMU going in the top of the third. With two away, Jones hit an RBI single up the middle to get the women on the board. However, the Quakers got the run back in the fourth, getting a walk, error and RBI single, all with two outs.

Guilford committed back-to-back errors to open EMU's half of the fifth and the Royals looked for a big inning. Foltz punched an RBI single into center to bring in one run and make it 8-2 before a hit batter loaded the bases with nobody out. With a chance to get back into the game, the Royals came up short. A groundball double play and pop up quickly ended the threat without any more damage.

True to their form, the Quakers got the run right back in the bottom half of the inning, getting a double and triple to make it 9-2.

The women rallied in each the sixth and seventh, getting their leadoff batter on each time. But each time the Royals also hit into inning-ending double plays.

Sheets was the lone EMU player to get two hits. Jones reached base twice with a hit and walk. Foltz batted 1-4 with a run and RBI in her final collegiate game.

Carver led Guilford, improving to 10-3 with the complete game win while also batting 3-3 with three runs and three RBIs.

Reath fell to 11-7 with the loss, getting charged with seven runs on eight hits in 1.0+ innings of work. Seale scattered four hits and one earned run in 5.0 frame of relief.