For years they have been dominant forces on the softball diamonds on the east side of Rockingham County. This year high school teammates Molly Smith (Elkton, Va./Spotswood) and Brooke Hensley (Elkton, Va./Spotswood) stepped onto Gehman Field at Eastern Mennonite University and left equally strong impressions after just one season as EMU softball Lady Royals as both were named to all-region teams.
Molly Smith (left) was named to the NFCA’s All-Region Second Team, while Brooke Hensley (right) was named to the Third Team.
Smith, an outfielder/pitcher for the Lady Royals, was named National Fastpitch Coaches Association All-Region (Atlantic) Second Team. She was a leader for EMU in her freshman season, finishing with team highs of 40 RBIs, 14 doubles and 55 hits. Smith was one short of tying the program record for hits in a season, although she neared the records in each of the three categories.
In conference play, Smith got a hit in nearly every other at-bat and was named All-ODAC First Team. She came in with a .414 batting average on the season, which was second for EMU. Smith was also the Lady Royals’ number two pitcher, tallying an 8-6 record from the circle.
Hensley was named NFCA All-Region Third Team as she was a consistent force all season long, leading the team in hitting and anchoring them defensively. The shortstop topped EMU with a .441 batting average, which was also the third best mark in the ODAC. All the hits helped her finish second for EMU with both 31 runs and 31 RBIs.
Hensley also led the league’s shortstops in fielding percentage in ODAC play and committed just six errors all season in 139 chances. She was named the Lady Royals’ team MVP and took All-ODAC Second Team honors as well.
Eastern Mennonite went 14-4 in ODAC play this spring and earned the top seed in the postseason tournament. The women came up short in their bid for back-to-back ODAC titles, however, going 2-2 at the tourney and finishing with a 27-13 record overall.
The 27 wins was second most in program history behind the 30-13 team of 2008. It was also the fifth time in the past six seasons that the Lady Royals finished with 21 or more wins.