The hitting was in fine form Tuesday night. Wednesday on Senior Day, the pitching followed suit in a sweep of Randolph-Macon. With the wins, Eastern Mennonite clinched the sixth seed in this weekend’s ODAC Tournament and earned a repeat date with the Yellow Jackets, who finished as the third seed. The teams will play Friday at 2:00pm in Salem. The double elimination tourney culminates in the ODAC Championship on Sunday.
Wednesday night’s rescheduled doubleheader was played under the lights at Harrisonburg High School.
EMU 6, Randolph-Macon 1
The women got plenty of hits of R-MC ace Heather Lewis, who entered with an ERA of 0.93. Molly Smith (Elkton, VA/Spotswood) started a four-hit rally in the second with a leadoff single. Taylor Sellars (Powhatan, VA/Powhatan) and Brooke Hensley (Elkton, VA/Spotswood) each had RBI singles to put EMU on top, 2-0.
Rasheeda Crews (Brookneal, VA/William Campbell) got plunked on the helmet to open the third. After a Smith single, Courtney Allman (Mt. Solon, VA/Fort Defiance) launched a homerun over the left field wall, scoring three for a 5-0 lead.
Lisa Lee (Buckingham, VA/Buckingham County), meanwhile, was in fine control of her pitches, allowing only three hits through five innings. But the Yellow Jackets broke the shutout with a wind-aided homer to open the sixth.
Lee got the run back in the bottom of the frame, shooting a laser beam to center for her eighth longball of the year. She then sent the Yellow Jackets down in order in the seventh to secure the 6-1 win.
The Lady Royals out-hit R-MC 9-4 in the opener, with Lee and Smith each getting a pair of hits. Lee went the distance from the circle to improve to 10-4.
EMU 9, Randolph-Macon 6
The Yellow Jackets scored an unearned run to take a lead in the top of the first, but EMU responded in a big way in the second. Sara Jenkins (Stanley, VA/Page County) led off with a homer to left, her third in the last four games. Allman hit a one-out single and two bunt singles later the women had the bases loaded.
The Royals had a runner thrown out at home for the second out of the inning. Hensley came through in the clutch, however, with a bases-clearing double. Lee hit an RBI infield single and Crews followed with a two-run bomb, capping a seven-run outburst for the lead.
R-MC looked for a big inning the fourth, but only scored one run. The visitors left the bases loaded when Megan Viafora (Stanley, VA/Page County) tracked down a fly ball in the right center field gap, leaving the score 7-2. In the sixth, the Yellow Jackets plated another single run before leaving two on when Viafora made an inning-ending catch in a similar spot.
Rachel Breeden (Shenandoah, VA/Page County) cranked a two-run shot to straightaway center in the bottom of the frame, pushing the lead back up to six at 9-3. The breathing room was needed as the visitors added a three-run homerun in their final at-bat, producing the 9-6 final score.
The women had an advantage in hits, 10-7, to help escape for defensive errors. Eight of the nine starters had at least one hit. Hensley was 2-4 while Jenkins finished 2-3. Viafora singled and walked and scored both times.
Smith, 7-2, pitched the complete game victory. Only four of the six runs she allowed were earned.
The Lady Royals snapped a season worst three-game losing skid with the wins and are getting hot at just the right time, with the ODAC Tournament starting on Friday. EMU hit five homeruns against Randolph-Macon after getting four the night before against Virginia Wesleyan.
At 25-11 overall and 9-9 in the ODAC, the women are tied for the third-most wins in program history. They finished 27-13 last spring and 30-13 in 2008.
Below is full schedule for day one of the ODAC Tournament.
Friday, April 27
Game 1: #1 Virginia Wesleyan vs. #8 Emory & Henry – Field 1 – 12:00 p.m.
Game 2: #4 Lynchburg vs. #5 Bridgewater – Field 3 – 12:00 p.m.
Game 3: #2 Roanoke vs. #7 Randolph – Field 1 – 2:00 p.m.
Game 4: #3 Randolph-Macon vs. #6 Eastern Mennonite – Field 3 – 2:00 p.m.
Game 5: Loser G1 vs. Loser G2 – Field 1 – 4:00 p.m.
Game 6: Loser G3 vs. Loser G4 – Field 3 – 4:00 p.m.
Game 7: Winner G1 vs. Winner G2 – Field 1 – 6:00 p.m.
Game 8: Winner G3 vs. Winner G4 – Field 3 – 6:00 p.m.