The Royals exploded for seven runs over two innings as they broke an ODAC skid with a 7-1 win over rival Bridgewater to open Wednesday's doubleheader.
BC took the nightcap to split the series between two of the conference's young dynamic teams. Eastern Mennonite settles to 14-14 overall and 3-9 in the ODAC, while the Eagles go to 17-11 and 5-7 in the ODAC.
EMU gets a rare weekend off before their next twinbill, hosting two-time defending national champion Virginia Wesleyan next Tuesday. The day will also be a Rowdy Royals event.
EMU 7, Bridgewater 1
Neither team's offenses got in gear until the third inning. Bridgewater loaded the bases with nobody out, but pitcher Kelsi Martin (Buena Vista, Va./Parry McCluer) limited them to one unearned run. Casey Coleman (Rockaway, N.J./Morris Knolls) picked up the mantle for the Royals in the bottom of the frame, leading off with a single. With two away, Alia Miller (Bridgewater, Va./Turner Ashby) shot a double to the gap in right center to tie the game. Sierra Lantz (Broadway, Va./Broadway) laced the go-ahead single, and Nicole Mongold (Page County, Va./Page County) rode the jet stream to right center for a two-run homer for a quick 4-1 lead.
BC appeared to score a run on a sacrifice fly in the fourth, but the runner from third left early, negating the run as well as ending the inning. Coleman then started another rally in the bottom of the frame, this time with a two-out walk. Beck Hoskins (Danville, Va./Westover Christian Academy) brought her in with a double and Miller came through with a two-run single, pumping the margin to 7-1.
Martin continued her momentum from there, allowing one hit in the fifth and a harmless walk in the seventh to cruise to the complete game win.
Coleman triggered both run-scoring innings and finished 1-1 with two walks, scoring two runs. Miller was 2-4 with three RBIs and a run. Hoskins and Mongold each had two hits.
Bridgewater 9, EMU 4
Similar to game one, the second game was scoreless until the third. The nightcap, however, featured more missed opportunities for both sides. EMU put two runners in scoring position with one out in the second, but a strikeout and ground ball left them stranded.
Bridgewater stuck two runs on the board in the third, but the Royals couldn't respond and went down in order. A leadoff error in the fourth snowballed into three more runs for BC, and another unearned run in the fifth made it 6-0. Miller became the women's fourth pitcher of the game when she entered with the bases loaded, and she got two strikeouts and pop up to delay worries of a mercy ending.
The Royals finally got going in the bottom of the fifth, again started by Coleman. The junior started the inning with a double, and after a single and walk the bases were loaded. Miller again responded to the set-up by her teammates, shooting a single to center to plate to runs. Cassidey Chrisman (Staunton, Va./Riverheads) added an RBI single, which turned into a two-run hit when BC's center fielder bobbled the ball.
The 6-4 margin and EMU's momentum didn't last long, however, as a leadoff triple in the sixth turned into another two-spot for the Eagles. A two-out run in the seventh made it 9-4.
The Royals mustered a rally attempt in their final at-bat when Hoskins and Miller hit back-to-back singles. But three straight outs ended the possibility.
EMU was out-hit 15-9 in the nightcap and added three errors, allowing Bridgewater three unearned runs.
Miller batted 2-4 with two RBIs, while Chrisman also had a pair of hits. Hoskins, Danielle Brenneman (Waynesboro, Va./Stuarts Draft) and McKenzie Reams (Goochland, Va./Goochland) each had a hit and a walk.
Emily Campbell (Broadway, Va./Broadway) started in the circle for the Royals and took the loss, giving up four runs in 3.1 innings.