Tuesday's ODAC doubleheader with conference-leading Virginia Wesleyan provided plenty of fireworks. In the end, Eastern Mennonite found out they could hit a top-pitching team, but ended up dropping both games to their visitors.
Virginia Wesleyan 12, EMU 9
The Marlins jumped on top quickly in the first, getting a leadoff triple off the wall in left center. Three runs came across to put the visitors up, as they chased starter Molly Smith (Elkton, VA/Spotswood).
Eastern Mennonite, meanwhile, was hitting VWC ace MacKenzie Creech hard but couldn't manage their first hit until Jordan Aylor (Madison, VA/Madison County) roped a two-out double in the second. Fortunately, Creech had hit a batter and walked another in front of Aylor, meaning the extra base hit brought in two runs to cut the deficit to 3-2.
Both pitchers settled down for two innings until VWC broke through again in the top of the fifth. They scored five runs to push the edge to six, but the Lady Royals answered with their own five-spot in the bottom of the frame. Smith and Rasheeda Crews (Brookneal, VA/William Campbell) had RBI singles and Sara Jenkins (Stanley, VA/Page County) jacked a three-run homer as the women got back to within 8-7.
The Marlins had a quick response, though, plating another four runs in the top of the sixth, making it a lead of 12-7.
EMU brought in two in the seventh on a two-run single from Megan Viafora (Stanley, VA/Page County), but a pair of strikeouts ended the rally, giving Virginia Wesleyan the 12-9 decision.
The Lady Royals had a 13-11 edge in hits, as four women each had two hits. Jenkins finished 2-3 with her sixth homerun of the season. She scored twice and had three RBIs. The homer also gave EMU 40 on the season, breaking the program record of 39 homeruns which was set last spring.
EMU used all three of their pitchers in the game. Smith gave up three runs in 0.1 innings while Lee suffered the loss by giving up nine runs in 5.1 frames. Aylor allowed just one hit in 1.1 innings.
Virginia Wesleyan 13, EMU 6
Game two featured less scoring, but still plenty of excitement. The Marlins scored once in the top of the first, but left the bases loaded. Brooke Hensley (Elkton, VA/Spotswood) tied the game with an RBI single in the third, but the women also missed an opportunity by leaving two runners on base.
In the fourth, Aylor gunned down a Marlin at home on a squeeze play, but the visitors still scored twice to go back in front, 3-1.
Jenkins led off the bottom of the frame with a long bomb to straightaway center, making it 3-2. VWC got their own longball in the fifth, putting the lead back at two. Four more in the sixth pushed the edge to 8-2.
Courtney Allman (Mt. Solon, VA/Fort Defiance) shot a two-run homer to left to make it 8-4 after six innings. But the Marlins added five more in the seventh. Lee added a two-run bomb in the seventh to produce the final score of 13-6.
Allman led the way from the plate, going 2-3 with a run and two RBIs on her homer. Lee went 2-4 with two RBIs and a run on her longball. Jenkins had her second homerun of the night and Viafora went 1-3 with a run.
Aylor took the loss from the circle, giving up ten runs in 6.2 innings. Lee was tagged for three in 0.1 innings.
Eastern Mennonite is 23-11 after doubleheader, including 7-9 in the ODAC. The women close up the regular season Wednesday at 5:00pm, hosting Randolph-Macon at Harrisonburg High School. Senior Recognition will precede first pitch.
The games are also key for both teams concerning positioning in this weekend's ODAC Tournament.