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Lady Royals Power Past Sweet Briar, Extend Winning Streak to 12 Games

EMU Softball

Even a pair of rain-outs and only one doubleheader in the past eight days couldn’t cool down the red-hot Lady Royals softball squad Tuesday, as the women touched home 40 times in a pair of five-inning wins over Sweet Briar in Harrisonburg.

Eastern Mennonite slammed eight homeruns and 44 hits to extend its winning streak to 12 in a row.

EMU 22, Sweet Briar 1 (5 innings)

Freshman Mandi Hodges hit a homerun in each game of EMU's sweep of Sweet Briar.
Freshman Mandi Hodges hit a homerun in each game of EMU’s sweep of Sweet Briar.

Box Score
The Lady Royals scored 11 runs in their first at-bat, as Coach J.D. McCurdy quickly pinch hit for many of his regular starters. Jessica Sullivan (Midlothian, Va./Manchester), Megan Viafora (Stanley, Va./Page County) and Mandi Hodges (Linville, Va./Broadway) each hit homers in the first.

Pitcher Lisa Lee (Buckingham, Va./Buckingham County) hit a two-run bomb in the third, and Jamie Blosser (Crimora, Va./Wilson Memorial) followed with a grand slam as the women scored nine more in the third.

Viafora added her second homerun in the fourth, a two-run shot.

Lee (11-4) picked up the win from the mound, allowing just one unearned run on two hits and four walks. She also struck out seven.

Eastern Mennonite clubbed 25 hits in the opener as each of the 16 women on the roster had at least one hit. Hodges went 3-3 with two runs and four RBIs. Viafora was 3-4 with her two bombs, scoring three times and knocking in another three.

Reigning ODAC Player of the Week Brooke Hensley (Elkton, Va./Spotswood) hit a pair of doubles and finished 3-3 with three runs scored.

Lee, Katarina Napfel (Berkeley Springs, WV/Berkeley Springs) and Abbey Scarlino (Staunton, Va./R.E. Lee) each added a pair of hits.

EMU 18, Sweet Briar 3 (5 innings)

Box Score
The women had a small 2-1 lead heading into the bottom of the second before batting around. Napfel had a two-run single as five runs scored to push the edge to 7-1.

Molly Smith (Elkton, Va./Spotswood) had a two-run double in the third and Rachel Breeden (Shenandoah, Va./Page County) added a two-run homerun to make it 12-1.

Hodges added her second career homerun in the fourth, a three-run longball, as the Lady Royals scored another six times.

Sweet Briar got a couple of runs in the top of the fifth but EMU cruised to the 18-3 win.

Smith took the complete game win, allowing six hits and striking out four to improve to 6-3.

The Lady Royals had another 19 hits, led by Sara Jenkins (Stanley, Va./Page County) who went 4-4 with three RBIs and two runs. Hodges finished 3-4 with three runs and four RBIs.

Smith was 3-4 as well, scoring four times and knocking in three. Napfel was the third woman to go 3-4 in the nightcap.

The wins extend EMU’s winning streak to 12 as the women have not lost since March 12. The Lady Royals are now 17-7 overall and 8-0 in the ODAC.

The women have an important weekend ahead of them, as they hit the road to take on the conference’s third- and fourth-place teams. Eastern Mennonite is at Virginia Wesleyan (6-2 in the ODAC) Saturday afternoon and at Randolph-Macon (6-4) Sunday.

Story by James De Boer
Category: Athletics, Softball
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