Eastern Mennonite took an impressive sweep from Mary Washington in Harrisonburg on Sunday, improving on the best start in program history.
Now 12-0 on the year, the Royals get into ODAC play this week, starting with a twinbill at Randolph-Macon on Wednesday. The softball women also host Emory & Henry and Guilford next weekend.
EMU 11, Mary Washington 3 – 6 innings
The visiting Eagles (15-7) plated a pair of runs in the top of the first before Eastern Mennonite took over. Mariann Smith (Hood, Va./Madison County) led off with a walk and worked her way to third before coming in when No. 2 batter Beck Hoskins (Danville, Va./Westover Christian Academy) put a single into left. Lauren Seale (Madison, Va./Madison County) later shot a two-run double to right center and scored on an RBI groundout as the Royals went in front, 4-2.
Seale settled down in the circle for the women. UMW's pitchers did not.
In the second, Seale towered a three-run homer to left for a 7-2 margin. EMU scored in each of the first four innings for a 10-3 lead. Then with one out in the sixth, Seale got ahold of another pitch and put it over the right field wall. Her second homerun of the day turned into a walk-off hit, as it invoked the mercy rule.
Seale was the biggest factor in the game, going 3-3 with a walk from the plate. She racked up six RBIs and scored three times. The senior also struck out five Eagles over 6.0 innings to improve to 5-0 with the complete game win.
Hoskins batted 3-4 and touched home three times. Smith had two walks and two runs.
EMU 8, Mary Washington 3
The second game started much tighter, as UMW brought out their ace pitcher, Kara Deppe, to face the Royals' Sydney Reath (Chambersburg, Pa./Mercersburg Academy).
After getting two runners in scoring position in the second, EMU finally broke through in the third. Mariah Foltz (Broadway, Va./Broadway) had an RBI single and Cassidey Chrisman (Staunton, Va./Riverheads) made 2-0 with a bases loaded walk.
But Mary Washington returned fire quickly, getting their first hits off Reath in the fourth and plating three runs.
The Royals then blew the game open in the bottom of the frame. Smith opened the door with a leadoff walk and Hoskins added an infield single. After a wild pitch, Foltz brought them both home with a perfectly placed bunt single to get the lead back at 4-3. Alexa Sheets (Bridgewater, Va./Turner Ashby) added a two-run double to right as EMU scored six times to build an 8-3 cushion.
Reath took over from there, facing just 11 batters over the final three frame to sew up the win. The sophomore improved to 5-0.
The Royals touched up Deppe (8-2) for 10 hits, giving UMW's best pitcher just her second loss of the season.
Foltz had a huge game, going 3-4 with three RBIs and two runs scored. Sheets also had three hits and accounted for three runs. Hoskins added two hits and two runs.
Coach JD McCurdy said his team is playing like a family: