In an extended weekend of play for Emory softball, the Eagles came away with a positive 4-2 record over six games. The team won both games March 30 against the DePauw University (Ind.) Tigers 9-1 and 7-6. In their two-day series against Washington University in St. Louis (Mo.) Bears, the Eagles shutout their opponent 5-0 and 7-0 in the series’ first two games March 31. The momentum shifted during the second half of the series April 1, with the Bears avenging Friday’s defeats with two wins of their own, winning 8-0 and 10-8 against Emory.
Emory Softball Player of the Week and freshman pitcher Sami Feller attributed the wins to the Eagles’ hitting expertise. She recognized junior infielder Janelle Turnquest and sophomore shortstop Cassie Baca as instrumental to their four wins; they each contributed two RBIs in the first and second games against Depauw.
In the first DePauw game, the Eagles managed to collect eight more runs than the Tigers because of their consistent talent at the plate. In the bottom of the third, freshman utility player Jessie Michael hit a single to bring Baca home and advance senior outfielder and captain Taylor Forte to second. After senior second baseman Amy Wray was walked, the bases were loaded. Turnquest then hit a double to left-center field that resulted in an additional three runs that brought the inning total to four runs, contributing to Emory’s 9-1 win.
Excellent pitching also played a significant role in the Eagles’ four-game win streak. In the second WashU game, senior captain and pitcher Brittany File assisted sophomore starting pitcher Toko Miller during the top of the third inning. Miller provided Emory with five strikeouts, holding the Bears’ run total to zero.
Things were looking up for the Eagles after the third game, but the team gave way in the final two WashU games, losing the third game of the series 8-0 before falling 10-8 in the series’ conclusion.
The Eagle’s longest win streak this season came at the end of February with five consecutive wins against Wesleyan College (Ga.), Messiah College (Pa.), N.C. Wesleyan, Piedmont College (Ga.) and Averett University (Va.).
Securing consistent wins has been a challenge for the Eagles thus far, but with a 10-4 record over the course of the past 14 games, things are looking up as the end of the season approaches.
Turnquest said that the team’s energy was a big factor in these games.
“On Friday we came out really strong, with the mindset that they’re in our house,” Turnquest said. “On Saturday I think we started out strong … but our energy started to drop.”
Sophomore pitcher Klamath Henry agreed with Turnquest, stating that Saturday didn’t go in the Eagles’ favor.
“Our coach [Penny Siqueiros] went in to call a timeout [in the third WashU game],” Henry said. “She had already called a timeout in the inning, [so] technically you have to switch around a player, so [Siqueiros] had to switch out a pitcher.”
Siqueiros then decided to put in junior pitcher Audrey Weller to finish the game. Needing the timeouts to make adjustments, the pitcher switch was an unfortunate consequence that took the Eagles’ out of rhythm.
“[Weller] pitched really well the rest of the game, but this little thing was a mind block for us, and really threw off our energy … There was no excuse, but we learned from it,” Henry said.
Turnquest also remarked on her team’s final month of regular season play and the goals they have for a successful finish.
“Our biggest goal is to give it our all for our seniors,” Turnquest said. “Whether we’re stepping on the field for a practice or a game, it’s really all for them in this last month.”
The Eagles will continue the regular season with four home games next weekend against Brandeis University (Mass.). The two UAA teams will face off April 7 at 2:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m., and April 8 at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.