Spizizen Pitches Team to Victory

Sophomore infielder Jessy McLean assumes her hitting stance in an Eagle home shutout against Berry College (Ga.), boosting the team’s record to 4-2. Ayushi Agarwhal/Staff

The Emory softball team split a pair of doubleheaders against Averett University (Va.) Feb. 15 and swept Berry College (Ga.) Feb. 18. Against Averett, the Eagles edged out a 1-0 win but then suffered a 5-3 loss.

In the opening game, sophomore second baseman Sarah Katz hit a single, prompting a point by freshman pinch runner Drew Bullock from second base. Altogether, Emory grabbed five hits during the game.

Sophomore pitcher Sami Feller started the game, allowing only one hit and striking out six. Freshman Jacqueline Spizizen came in as relief to throw four shutout innings and allowed only one hit. Spizizen maximized her time on the mound, striking out seven players while also picking up the win.

In the second game, Averett returned for revenge. Averett scored first in the second inning, and doubled their advantage in the fourth off sophomore third baseman Andrea Grant’s homer. The Cougars collected two more runs in the top of the fifth frame. Grant and freshman pitcher Kaitlyn Aherron both gathered RBI doubles.

Spizizen said that the difference in the two games against Averett was timely hitting.

“[Our problem] was just timely hitting,” Spizizen said. “We didn’t get our hits together. However, we worked [hard] and we continued to fight and [come back].”

Emory responded with three unanswered runs in the bottom of the sixth. Katz advanced on a two-run single, allowing junior outfielders Sam Vincent and Sarah Flanders to score. Sophomore infielder Jessy McLean hit a sacrifice fly to help the Eagles to another run by junior shortstop Cassie Baca.

Averett closed out the doubleheader after an insurance run in the seventh inning off an Aherron triple sealed their victory.

Emory followed the split with two shutouts against Berry (2-0, 1-0). Spizizen led the way with some stellar pitching in both wins.

In the opener, Spizizen tossed six strikeouts and allowed three hits. She retired 13 straight batters in the first four frames before loading the bases in the fifth inning. But she escaped the problematic scenario thanks to a pop-up during a two-out situation.

Berry freshman pitcher Meredith Holland played a strong game in the first four frames, holding onto the shutout before the Eagles grabbed a pair of runs in the fifth inning. Bullock hit an RBI double to bring juniors outfielder Jenna Wilson and Flanders to plate.

In the evening game, Spizizen continued her hot run of form. She gave up nine hits but dodged any scoring threats.

Flanders notched the lone score of the game. She started off with a single, and eventually ended up at third base after stealing off an error. After Katz attempted to steal second, Flanders scored.

Spizizen praised the Eagles’ defense, but noted that the offense needed work.

“Our defense is really gelling,” Spizizen said. “Our team is really coming together [on that side]. [On offense], we just need more time to prepare on our timely hitting. The power is there and it should come together.”

After a successful weekend, the Eagles have boosted their record to 4-2. They return to action Feb. 24 to host Covenant College (Ga.) in another doubleheader.

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