The Emory women’s softball team suffered a narrow 7-9 defeat in their season opener against Berry College (Ga.) on Feb. 24.
Emory’s offense started brightly. The Eagles notched a run in each of the first two innings, thanks to RBI singles from junior right fielder Sami Feller and senior infielder Sam Vincent. Sophomore shortstop Natalie Arreguin led the way in the third inning with a two-RBI double as Emory produced four additional hits, two walks and two steals to put up an impressive five-spot on the board in the inning.
Senior pitcher Toko Miller had an equally impressive start, rendering the Vikings scoreless through four innings after getting out of bases-loaded jams in the first and third innings.
Over four innings, Emory compiled a commanding 7-0 lead. However, the latter half of the game told a different story.
Arreguin believed the Eagles’ mentality changed after going up big early.
“We had a false sense of security up seven runs,” Arreguin said. “We became OK with not scoring more.”
Berry roared back in the fifth inning, finally turning hits into runs against Miller. After allowing four runs, Head Coach Adrianna Baggetta replaced Miller on the mound with Feller, who was able to momentarily stop the bleeding.
Unfortunately for the Eagles, Berry’s offensive momentum continued into the sixth inning as a two-run home run shrunk Emory’s lead to 7-6. The Eagles had a great opportunity to respond in the bottom half of the inning, but came up empty despite loading the bases.
With a one-run lead entering the final inning, Baggetta handed the ball to sophomore pitcher Madison Schaefer. Schaefer struggled with her control, allowing Berry to score the tying and go-ahead runs on wild pitches. An RBI single capped off a three-run seventh inning, completing the Vikings’ comeback.
Emory was unable to string together a response in the bottom half of the seventh and fell to Berry, 7-9.
Despite the disappointing loss, Baggetta was still encouraged by her team’s play.
“Everyone stepped up and made something happen at some point in the game,” Baggetta said. “[The loss] can’t get bent out of shape. [We need to] learn from it and move forward.”
The second game of the scheduled doubleheader against Berry was halted due to darkness at the top of the fourth inning with Emory leading 3-0. The game will resume at an undetermined later date.
Emory will host DePauw University (Ind.) on March 2 for a doubleheader with the first pitch scheduled for noon.