A huge nine-run inning triggered an impressive 13-5 mercy-shorted win over visiting Guilford in game two of Sunday's ODAC softball doubleheader in Harrisonburg. The Royals salvaged a split but gained some momentum with the win, settling at 12-8 overall and 2-4 in the conference.
EMU gets a tough road challenge on Tuesday, playing at No. 21 Randolph-Macon, with the twinbill starting at 3:00pm in Ashland, Va.
Guilford 10, EMU 6
The Quakers took full advantage of two EMU errors in the top of the first, bringing in four runs. Nicole Mongold (Page County, Va./Page County) cut the deficit in half with a two-out, two-run double in the bottom of the frame.
Guilford got the two back in the third, but the women had an answer again in their half of the inning. One run scored on an RBI grounder before Kelsi Martin (Buena Vista, Va./Parry McCluer) drove a two-run shot over the fence in left, getting EMU within 6-5.
An inning later, McKenzie Reams (Gouchland, Va./Gouchland) led off with a towering home run to left, tying up the score at 6-6.
The Quakers took advantage of another unearned run in the fifth to stay on top, and then got a three-run homer in the top of the seventh to build a four-run lead. EMU rallied late and had runners on second and third with two outs, but a strikeout ended the comeback attempt.
The Royals got their opportunities by smacking eight hits with three walks. Mongold finished 3-4 with two RBIs. Martin had two RBIs and two runs. Danielle Brenneman (Waynesboro, Va./Stuarts Draft) had a pair of hits.
Martin also threw the complete game, striking out six. Hampered by three EMU errors, five of Guilford's 10 runs were unearned.
EMU 13, Guilford 5 – 5 inn.
The Quakers scored in the first inning again, this time a lone run on a two-out double. Brenneman got a base hit to lead off the bottom of the frame, and the Royals again had an answer for their guests. Three batters later Martin singled in the first run before back-to-back walks pushed in another runner for the women's first lead of the day, 2-1.
The Royals left the bases loaded, however, leaving worries that they missed a big opportunity.
Guilford did their part to confirm the fear, scoring four runs, all with two outs in the second, to jump back in front, 5-2. EMU again left runners on in the second, but after relief pitcher Emily Campbell (Broadway, Va./Broadway) sent the Quakers down quietly in the third, until the offense finally broke through.
Mongold started an explosion with a leadoff single up the middle. After back-to-back hit batters loaded the bases, Reams and Beck Hoskins (Danville, Va./Westover Christian Academy) drew back-to-back walks, each time bringing in a run. Brenneman singled to tie the score at 5-5, and Casey Coleman (Rockaway, N.J./Morris Knolls) then sent a double to right center for two more runs and a 7-5 lead.
Even a pitching change couldn't slow down the Royals. A groundout and double each brought in a run before Sierra Lantz (Broadway, Va./Broadway) capped the big inning with a two-run homer to left, blowing open an 11-5 cushion.
When the dust finally settled on the bottom of the third, Eastern Mennonite had sent 12 batters to the plate: five got hits (including three for extra bases), two walked and two more were hit to get on base. All nine of those turned into a run as the Royals finally got the offensive release that had been steaming for the past few games.
Campbell continued her solid work in the circle, escaping any damage from the potent Quaker lineup.
EMU flirted with the mercy ending by loading the bases again in the fourth but finally accomplished it in the fifth. The women loaded the bases once again, this time with another bean ball and two more walks. With two away, the Quakers finally hurt themselves with an error at third base, keeping the inning alive and also allowing one run to score. Coleman then delivered the walk-off, shooting a hard-hit single up the middle to chase home the final run.
The Royals recorded 12 hits, their ninth time going to double digit hits, and tied their season high with eight walks. All nine of the women in the batting order scored at least once, and eight of them reached base safely at least twice.
Coleman finished 3-5 with three RBIs and two runs while Lantz homered in her only official at-bat. She also walked twice and was hit by a pitch, collecting three RBIs and two runs. Martin was 2-4 with two RBIs and a run while Alia Miller (Bridgewater, Va./Turner Ashby) finished 1-2 with two walks, scoring once and knocking in another.
Miller also started in the circle and got a no-decision after giving up all five of GC's runs in 1.2 innings. Campbell earned her second win with 3.1 scoreless innings of relief. The freshman allowed just two hits.