Softball Women Turn Corner With ODAC Sweep

Transfer Sam Breeden had four hits against her former teammates. (photo by Scott Eyre)
Transfer Sam Breeden had four hits against her former teammates. (photo by Scott Eyre)

Starting the ODAC season with a run through the gauntlet of the league's top teams is paying off for EMU's softball women. The battle-hardened Royals swept an ODAC doubleheader on the road Friday, taking two wins from an upstart Randolph College squad.

Eastern Mennonite snaps a five-game skid with the victories. That stretch included four straight shutouts at the hands of defending national champion Virginia Wesleyan, ranked No. 1 in the national poll, and Randolph-Macon, ranked No. 4.

The Royals are now 15-9 overall and 3-5 in ODAC play. The women hope to host Lynchburg College on Sunday and Parent Recognition Day, with first pitch slated for 1:30pm in Harrisonburg.

EMU 9, Randolph 4
The Royals made a quick start in Friday game, which was moved up a day to beat Saturday's expected precipitation. Sydney Reath (Williamsburg, Va./Mercersburg Academy) and Sam Breeden (Aroda, Va./Madison County) hit back-to-back doubles with two outs in the first for a sudden 1-0 lead.

Reath led off the third with another two-bagger, and this time she started a three-run rally as the women opened up a 4-0 lead.

The WildCats (10-14/3-4 ODAC) scored twice in the fifth before a double play ball cut short a potential bigger inning.

Beck Hoskins (Danville, Va./Westover Christian Academy) got one run back in the sixth when she led off with a walk and eventually touched home on a sacrifice fly from Tiffani Shaheen (Fluvanna, Va./Fluvanna County). Reath hit her third double of the game leading off the seventh, starting yet another rally. Michaela Nichols (Luray, Va./Luray) put a two-run single into center with two outs to cap a four-run frame, bumping the lead to 9-2.

The WildCats snuck in two unearned runs in their final at-bat, but there was no room for a comeback.

Reath and Breeden each had three hits to pace EMU's 14-hit attack. All three of Reath's hits were doubles, and she also scored each time she reached base. Hoskins finished 2-2 with a walk, scoring twice and driving in two more. Alia Miller (Bridgewater, Va./Turner Ashby) also had a pair of hits and accounted for two runs.

Kelsi Martin (Buena Vista, Va./Parry McCluer) pitched the first 5.1 innings and improved to 7-2 as she allowed two runs. Reath threw the final 1.2 to earn her first save of the season.

EMU 5, Randolph 2
The women again took a quick lead in the nightcap, with Breeden's two-out double scoring an unearned run.

Miller had an RBI double in the third and back-to-back RBI groundouts in the fourth bumped EMU's lead to 4-0.

Reath cracked an RBI double with two away in the sixth for a comfy five-run margin.

Randolph made some noise in the seventh, using a two-run single to finally get on the board. However, Miller had enough gas from the circle to coax out back-to-back grounders to short, wrapping up the complete game win.

Miller was EMU's only player with two hits, while Shaheen and Erin Rockwell (Alexandria, Va./Bishop Ireton) each had a single with a walk. Shaheen and Danielle Brenneman (Waynesboro, Va./Stuarts Draft) each scored two runs with Reath and Breeden each driving in two.

As pitcher, Miller improved to 4-1 with the win, holding the WildCats to five hits.