EMU's softball women split each of their final two days at the Fastpitch Dreams Spring Classic in North Myrtle Beach, S.C., earning a gritty win each day. The Royals return home with some momentum in their 2-6 record.
The women play a rescheduled doubleheader at Southern Virginia on Monday, followed by two games at Mary Baldwin on Tuesday.
EMU 6, Gwynedd Mercy 5 – 8 inn.
The Royals looked poised for a big win against Gwynedd Mercy when they exploded for five runs in the bottom of the second. Freshman Emma West (Gloucester, Va./Gloucester) started the rally with her first collegiate home run. After a walk, the women sent three straight balls to the warning track for back-to-back-to-back doubles. A two-out single brought in the fifth run.
But the offense went cold, earning just four base runners over the next five innings. The Griffins, meanwhile, chipped in single runs in the fourth and sixth, before tying it with three runs in the top of the seventh. A two-out error opened the door for the rally, as all three runs were unearned.
Pitcher Emily Campbell (Broadway, Va./Broadway) steadied the ship in the extra inning, striking out the side in the top of the eighth. Sierra Lantz (Broadway, Va./Broadway) drew a leadoff walk in EMU's half, and a one-out single put runners on the corners. Courtney Hall (Gloucester, Va./Gloucester) then dropped down a perfect bunt as the Royals successfully executed the squeeze play to take the walk-off win.
West finished 2-3 with a walk, while Hall, Lantz, Emily Davis (King George, Va./Fredericksburg Christian) and Cassidey Chrisman (Staunton, Va./Riverheads) each reached base twice. The Royals had nine hits and five walks.
Campbell struck out seven in the complete game win, allowing just two earned runs.
Pfeiffer 19, EMU 0 – 5 inn.
Pfeiffer overpowered the Royals later in the day. The Falcons, who recently transitioned from D-II to D-III, combined 16 hits with eight walks for the five-inning win.
Davis batted 1-2 with a walk.
Wesley 9, EMU 0 – 5 inn.
In EMU's final day of play on Wednesday, they started with a loss to a talented Wesley team that had allowed only three runs in a combined six games at the Classic.
Campbell hit a double, while Becca Boone (Winchester, Va./James Wood) had the Royals' only other hit.
EMU 3, King's 1
The women regrouped for their final game in South Carolina, despite giving up a run in the top of the first.
Davis led off the Royals' first at-bat with a walk and was sacrificed to second. After West singled, she stole second and Davis came home on an errant throw. West took third on the play, setting up a trademark squeeze play, with Chrisman getting the RBI as EMU went ahead, 2-1.
Campbell patiently worked herself to the win from the circle. She allowed a base runner in five of the final six innings, but only two worked into scoring position, and none came home.
Davis added a little insurance in the bottom of the fifth with a solo shot to left center before Campbell finished the game off. She scattered six hits against five strikeouts to improve to 2-3 on the season.
Davis reached base twice and scored each time. West finished with a pair of hits as the she improved her team-leading batting average to .429.