The Emory women’s softball team opened up University Athletic Association (UAA) play this past weekend with a commanding four-game sweep over the Carnegie Mellon University (Pa.) Tartans.
Senior shortstop Cassie Baca said the defending UAA Champion Emory Eagles were eager to give the newly founded Tartan team “not the nicest welcoming into the conference.”
The Eagles got off to a fast start in the first game of the series with a pair of two-RBI hits, one from freshman first baseman Mattie Ryan and one from senior outfielder Jenna Wilson, giving them a four-run lead after two innings. In the fourth inning, Wilson highlighted Emory’s aggressive base-running approach by stealing two bases before scoring on a wild pitch. Sophomore utility player Meghan Murphy added an RBI single to bring the Eagles’ run total to six. On the defensive side, sophomore pitcher Madison Schaefer was consistent throughout the entire game, never allowing more than two hits in a single inning. Emory came away 6-2 winners.
The second game was a one-sided affair to say the least. The Tartans scored their only run of the game in the first inning and took a 1-0 lead. The rest of the game showcased the juggernaut that is the Eagles’ offense. Across the first four innings, in which Emory scored 17 runs, every Emory starter scored at least once and six players recorded multi-RBI games. Senior pitcher Toko Miller gave up just one hit after the first inning to force the mercy rule after five innings with Emory up 17-1.
Baca believes that high levels of offensive production are to be expected from this team.
“We feed off of each other offensively,” Baca said. “[Every player] has a drive to win and is really hungry to get on base.”
Despite the offensive explosion in the second game, Emory struggled to find that same production early in the third game. Through four innings, senior pitcher Madeline Maday had kept the Tartans scoreless, but Emory wasn’t able to muster any runs. Carnegie Mellon broke the deadlock in the fifth inning with an RBI single to give themselves a one-run lead entering the final two innings. In the sixth inning, Baca put Emory on the board with a clutch, two-RBI triple, giving the Eagles a 2-1 lead. Two more insurance runs in the inning gave Maday a 4-1 lead entering the last inning. Maday comfortably retired the Tartans, recording a save and securing a 4-1 victory.
In the fourth game, the Eagles aimed to prove that their second game’s double-digits performance was not a fluke. The only inning Emory didn’t score in was the first. After that inning, the Eagles exploded for 10 runs and once again accomplished staggering offensive achievements, including that nine different players recording hits. Miller was back on the mound and only allowed two runs all game. Emory won by a score of 10-2, forcing the mercy rule in the sixth inning.
The Eagles are currently on an 11-game winning streak and have jumped out to a perfect 4-0 record in conference play. Despite their convincing recent wins, Baca insists the team has no fear of becoming complacent.
“Each week [we have] a new goal, and everyone sets a challenge for themselves personally,” Baca said. “Sure we put up a bunch of runs, but we were far from perfect.”
Head Coach Adrianna Baggetta shares the same mindset.
“We can clean up our process and be sharper in a lot of areas,” Baggetta said. “We have to keep asking ourselves, ‘How can we be better?’”
The Eagles are back in action on April 5 when they travel for a four-game series against Washington University in St. Louis (Mo.).