The Emory softball team won two of three games against DePauw University (Ind.) to claim their first series win of the season on March 3.
DePauw came out of the gate swinging, scoring seven runs in the first inning. Emory responded in the bottom half of the inning with a two-RBI single from sophomore third baseman Natalie Arreguin to cut the lead to 7-2.
After a disappointing first inning, senior pitcher Madeline Maday pitched six straight shutout innings to limit the Tigers to a final tally of seven runs. However, the first inning provided all the offense DePauw needed, as Emory’s three runs in the last three innings were insufficient. Depauw prevailed, 7-5.
The Eagles bounced back in the second game of the series with an impressive offensive display that produced a season-high of nine runs.
Senior shortstop Cassie Baca had a huge game at the plate, producing three RBIs on three extra-base hits. Sophomore designated hitter Meghan Murphy added an RBI and a pair of runs. Senior center fielder Jenna Wilson also stole multiple bases and scored all three times she was on base.
Senior pitcher Toko Miller remained stalwart through six innings, limiting DePauw to four runs. Junior pitcher Sami Feller shut down any possibility of a Tigers’ comeback in the seventh inning, allowing Emory to pick up their first win of the season, 9-5.
Baca was proud of the Eagles’ response in the second game of the series after starting the season with an 0-2 record.
“We had two options,” Baca said. “[We] could have let [the slow start] continue, or [we could] bounce back. [The second game] proved the team has some fight.”
The series rubber match fittingly proved the closest of the three games.
A comparatively low-scoring game saw DePauw take a narrow 3-2 lead entering the bottom of the fifth inning. Sophomore pitcher Madison Schaefer had a strong outing, allowing only four hits and one earned run, but DePauw contained Emory’s offense similarly up until this point.
In the bottom of the fifth, Emory took a commanding 6-3 lead thanks to a four-run inning led by a two-RBI double from junior second baseman Sarah Katz. In the top of the sixth, DePauw answered with two runs to make it a one-run game. An Emory insurance run in the bottom half of the sixth sent Miller to the mound in the seventh with a 7-5 lead.
Miller blanked the Tigers in the last inning, earning a save and securing the series win for the Eagles.
Although the last two victories proved exciting for the team, Head Coach Adrianna Baggetta remains more concerned with the team’s growth than with their results at this stage in the season.
“Our focus is to continue to grow,” Baggetta said. “Softball is a repetition sport and [we want to] get into a good rhythm.”
Emory goes on the road next week to face Maryville College (Tenn.) for a March 10 doubleheader before hosting the Emory Invitational from March 11 to 15.