Friday marked the 15th straight victory for the No. 2-ranked softball team as the women beat Covenant College (Ga.) twice in a double-header.
The Eagles walked away with a six-inning 9-0 decision in the opener followed by an 11-0 shutout in five innings. Both games were played at Emory’s Cooper Field.
“I think we started off slow but really picked it up as the first game went on and into the second game,” freshman pitcher Sydney Carpenter said.
In the first game, sophomore catcher Micah Scharff started Emory’s offensive attack with an impressive five RBIs and three extra-base hits.
“We have the energy, and if we keep giving each game our all, I have no doubt that we will be exactly where we want to be at the end of this season,” Scharff said.
Scharff gave the Eagles a 3-0 lead with a three-run homer and later allowed her teammate, junior Ally Kersthold, to score with a two-out double in the sixth inning.
“We scored near the beginning of both games and kept the pressure on throughout the entire game,” junior first baseman Megan Light said. “That is something we need to continue to do to be successful throughout the rest of the season and into the postseason.”
Freshman Alyssa Pollard hit safely twice as well, while Carpenter picked up her sixth win after throwing six scoreless innings. She struck out eight opposing batters.
“We did a good job of stringing things together on Friday,” Light said. “Many different people came through with hits when we needed it. It was definitely a team effort. We played really good defense which helped us remain way ahead throughout both games.”
In the second nightcap, the Eagles continued the offensive show.
“We kept our energy up through the second game and were scoring runs up until the last inning we played, which is something we normally struggle with,” Carpenter said.
With a two-run double, Light got the Eagles going early in the top of the first inning.
Light shined offensively, going 3-for-3 at the plate with three RBIs, paving the way for a big day for Emory’s offense.
“We definitely needed the first game to serve as preparation for the night game,” Scharff said. “We went in with energy already flowing, and all of the players demonstrated solid performance throughout play time.”
Junior second-baseman Claire Bailey and Kersthold drove in two runs each while freshmen Katelyn Gibson and Courtney Sugihara each contributed a pair of hits.
The Eagles’ progress did not slow in the second inning of the game, as Emory scored six more times with a two-run single by Bailey and a two-run double by Kersthold.
An RBI single from Light, followed by a double from Gibson which scored senior first-baseman Ellyn Kocoloski, upped Emory’s lead to 10-0 in the fourth inning.
Gibson was pleased with the quick start.
“We were able to jump on Covenant early in the second game and continued throughout with our hitting,” she said.
Junior Amanda Kardys pitched all five innings. Kardys struck out four batters and did not allow a run to score, raising her personal record to 19-1.
“Every game is a stepping stone to our ultimate goal, which is to win the NCAA championship,” Gibson said. “We still have a lot of room to grow and improve, but we have come together as a team, and we are ready to take any challenge that is thrown at us together.”
With a current mark of 34-1, the Eagles will return to action on Saturday, March 30, on the road in Memphis, Tenn.
The women will be playing against Rhodes College (Tenn.) and Fontbonne College (Mo.).
– By Nicola Braginsky