Softball Opens Season At Grand Slam Triangle Classic

Sophomore Taylor Hensley started at catcher in the season opener, providing some stability in a lineup full of new players. (photo by Scott Eyre)
Sophomore Taylor Hensley started at catcher in the season opener, providing some stability in a lineup full of new players. (photo by Scott Eyre)

The Eastern Mennonite University softball team went 1-3 during its opening weekend at the Grand Slam Triangle Classic in Raleigh, N.C.

The Royals (1-3) dropped both decisions on Saturday against McDaniel and Salem, both with a score of 4-3. On Sunday, things turned around for the women in game one as they came out on top against Methodist, 8-3, before falling to Pfeiffer, 7-5. 

McDaniel 4, EMU 3
After a scoreless three innings, Danielle Brenneman (Waynesboro, Va./Stuarts Draft) led off the top of the 4th with a home run for the Royals. In the bottom of the frame the Green Terror responded a one-out single before a stolen base put MC in scoring position. A two-out double tied the game 1-1.

McDaniel closed out the 5th with a home run for a 2-1 lead.

Brennamen doubled in the 6th, before stealing third and was eventually brought to home plate after Makayla Morris (Stanardsville, Va./William Monroe) singled to knot the score at 2-2.

MU saw another home run in the bottom of the 6th to take the lead, 3-2. Alia Miller (Bridgewater, Va./Turner Ashby) responded on the top of the frame with a double before scoring on an overthrow when she stole third to tie the game.

An RBI single in the bottom of the 7th eventually gave McDaniel the go-ahead, as the Royals fell in their season opener, 4-3.

Kelsi Martin (Buena Vista, Va./Parry McCluer) pitched five innings, allowing five hits, three runs, and two home runs. Martin struck out six. Sydney Reath (Williamsburg, Va./Mercersburg Academy) pitched the final innings allowing two hits and one run.

Salem 4, EMU 3
Against Salem, the Royals were first on the board after an RBI double from Brenneman sent Erin Rockwell (Alexandria, Va./Bishop Ireton) past the plate. The teams were held scoreless for the next four innings, until Salem broke the silence with an RBI single, sending the game to extra innings.

EMU took a 3-1 lead in the top of the 8th, after Morris hit an RBI single, advancing Brenneman to third after sending Rockwell home. Reath hit a sacrifice fly on the next at-bat, which allowed Brenneman to tag home. But Salem responded with three runs for the win, including a walk-off hit. 

Reath (0-2) pitched the entirety of the game, allowing eight hits, four runs, while striking out three batters.

EMU 8, Methodist 3
After a scoreless first inning, the Monarchs got on the board after a two-out RBI double sent in a runner. The batter fouled out on the next play, leaving two on base for MU. The Royals responded to tie it up after Rockwell singled to bring in Sam Breeden (Aroda, Va./Madison County), who was in scoring position after hitting a double.

Methodist would score again in the top of the third. A lead off double had a runner in scoring position, which quickly advanced to third after a sacrifice. On the next play, the batter grounded out allowing the Monarchs another run.

The Royals got things going in the 4th, starting with Beck Hoskins (Danville, Va./Westover Christian Academy) singled out to advance all-runners. Rockwell went to second, Dallas Crawford (Front Royal, Va./Warren County) to third, and Michaela Nichols (Luray, Va./Luray) came in for a run.  Brenneman then singled to left field, sending home Rockwell and Crawford with Hoskins advancing to second. Morris had a two-RBI single to left field, allowing Brenneman and Hoskins to cross the plate for a 6-2 game. Tiffani Shaheen (Fluvanna, Va./Fluvanna County) scored after Reath flied out to second. Breeden followed up with a sacrifice fly to center field, which sent Deborah Black (Stuarts Draft, Va./Stuarts Draft) home, 8-2.

An RBI single for the Monarchs would make it 8-3 in the bottom of the 6th.

Martin pitched seven innings, allowing ten hits, three runs, and striking out three at the plate.

Pfeiffer 7, EMU 5
The Royals got ten hits in the game against the Falcons, but were unable to finish on top. Brenneman went 4-for-4 with three runs while Shaheen and Miller added a couple hits a piece. Morris and Hoskins each added a run in the effort. 

Reath pitched 5.2 innings, allowing seven hits and six runs, before Miller came in for the final 1.1, allowing one hit and one run. 

EMU is back in action on March 3, heading to North Myrtle Beach for the Fastpitch Dreams Spring Classic. The Royals are slated to play ten games in five days starting with Lehman and Penn St.-Harrisburg.