Averett Goes Long To Get By EMU Softball Women

Alia Miller leads EMU with a .417 batting average through 12 games. (photo by Scott Eyre)
Alia Miller leads EMU with a .417 batting average through 12 games. (photo by Scott Eyre)

EMU played well against a talented Averett softball team on Sunday, but dropped both ends of the non-conference doubleheader in Harrisonburg.

The Royals (8-4) make a quick return to their home field, hosting Southern Virginia Monday in another non-conference set, with first pitch at 3:00pm.

Averett 5, EMU 3
Sophomore Alia Miller (Bridgewater, Va./Turner Ashby) started the scoring in second inning of the opener, crushing a leadoff home run down the left field line. Korenn Paige (Winchester, Va./Sherando) and Kelsi Martin (Buena Vista, Va./Parry McCluer) followed with back-to-back singles, but despite some hard-hit balls, the Royals left two runners on and settled for the 1-0 lead.

It didn't last long, as two batters into the third, the Cougars (15-6) launched a two-run homer to get in front 2-1. It was the first home run EMU's pitchers had allowed all season.

The teams traded two-out unearned runs in the fifth, before Averett got another two-run home run in the sixth to bump the lead to 5-2.

Freshman Nicole Mongold (Page County, Va./Page County) towered a longball to left to lead off the bottom of the frame, earning her first collegiate homer, but that was all the Royals could muster over the final two innings.

Miller was the lone woman with multiple hits, finishing 2-3. Paige, Martin, Mongold and Danielle Brenneman (Waynesboro, Va./Stuarts Draft) each had one hit.

Martin also went the distance in the circle, striking out six, but falling to 5-1 with her first loss.

Averett 6, EMU 2
The Cougars pounced in the top of the first of the nightcap with their third two-run homer of the day. EMU's offense retaliated, however, putting together three hits in their first two innings, including RBI singles from Mongold and Cassidey Chrisman (Staunton, Va./Riverheads) to tie it up at 2-2.

But Averett hit right back in the third, stringing together three hits for two more runs and a 4-2 margin.

The visitors also switched pitchers in the bottom of the frame, with reliever Hannah Thompson taking over from the circle. After giving up a leadoff walk to Brenneman and single to Emily Campbell (Broadway, Va./Broadway), Thompson struck out the next three batters and kept on going. She ended up retiring the final 15 Royals she faced to earn the win.

Averett added yet another two-run homer in the seventh for the final tallies.

Brenneman walked twice and scored a run. Sierra Lantz (Broadway, Va./Broadway) scored EMU's other run.

Miller pitched all 7.0 innings, striking out six while allowing 11 hits to fall to 2-3.