Softball Women Split ODAC Road Date at Guilford

Tiffani Shaheen had four hits and three stolen bases on the day. (photo by Scott Eyre)
Tiffani Shaheen had four hits and three stolen bases on the day. (photo by Scott Eyre)

The Royals had double digit hits in each of their games at Guilford College on Monday, settling for a split in their ODAC doubleheader.

At 18-14 overall and 6-10 in ODAC play the softball women sit in seventh place in the league standings. Eastern Mennonite has just two ODAC games left in Wednesday's doubleheader at rival Bridgewater, while many of the other teams have four to eight games remaining because of rescheduled dates.

Although they mathematically have not yet clinched a berth in the eight-team ODAC Tournament, EMU's women look destined for a spot in the bottom three seeds. The double-elimination tourney starts next week Friday in Salem, Va.

The Royals play at Bridgewater on Wednesday, with first pitch set for 3:00pm.

Guilford 7, EMU 4
Both teams had lots of scoring chances in the opener, with EMU jumping on top on a pair of two-out runs in the first inning.

The Quakers tied the score with single runs in each of the second and third innings before an explosive fourth.

Makayla Morris (Stanardsville, Va./William Monroe) started EMU's rally with a one-out double. After a groundball out, Tiffani Shaheen (Fluvanna, Va./Fluvanna County) chased in Morris with an RBI single. Danielle Brenneman (Waynesboro, Va./Stuarts Draft) then sent a double to left to bring in Shaheen for a 4-2 lead.

Guilford had a quick answer, loading the bases in the bottom of the frame and scoring once on a walk. Sydney Reath (Williamsburg, Va./Mercersburg Academy) relieved starting pitcher Kelsi Martin (Buena Vista, Va./Parry McCluer), but gave up a long ball to right center for a grand slam and quick 7-4 deficit.

Reath retired the next five batters she would face, but the damage had been done. EMU's best chance to come back was in the sixth when Morris and Madison Cash (Staunton, Va./Riverheads) led off with back-to-back singles. But three straight out spelled the end in the three-run loss.

Of the Royals' 10 hits, Reath and Morris each had two. Sam Breeden (Aroda, Va./Madison County) had a single and a walk.

Martin fell to 8-5 with the loss in the circle, charged with six runs in 3.1 innings. Reath threw the final 2.2.

EMU 3, Guilford 2
The nightcap was oddly low on scoring opportunities until EMU broke through in the fourth. After Martin hit a leadoff single, back-to-back hit batters loaded the bases. Then after two harmless out, Cash came through with a single to left, bringing in two runs for the first lead of the contest.

Guilford got a clutch two-out RBI hit in the fifth and sixth innings to tie things back up at 2-2.

Shaheen led off the seventh with a single, and the top of the order took care of business. Brenneman sacrificed Shaheen to second, and after a wild pitch sent her to third, Reath brought her co-captain in with an RBI single, putting EMU back on top.

The Royals escaped some danger in the bottom of the seventh, when GC's second batter reached on an error in the outfield. However, the batter was eventually tagged out trying to get to third, resuming the empty bases scenario.

Reath finished off the complete game win with a grounder to second. She got the victory by scattering five hits.

Eastern Mennonite out-hit their hosts in game two, 10-5. Shaheen and Martin did the most damage, each with three base hits. Brenneman did the dirty work with two sacrifices and a walk.