The Emory women’s softball team took advantage of an action-packed schedule last week, winning all four games at the Emory Invitational and picking up an additional victory against Maryville College (Tenn.). Now roughly a quarter of the way through the season, Emory boasts a strong 7-3 record and is currently on a five-game winning streak.
The week began with a trip up to Maryville for a doubleheader on March 10. The Eagles struggled to find offense in the first game, a problem rarely encountered by a team averaging over six runs a game. Despite senior pitcher Toko Miller and junior pitcher Sami Feller giving up just two total runs to Maryville, Emory could muster only a single run from sophomore infielder Natalie Arreguin’s solo home-run in the second inning and lost the game 2-1.
Determined to prove that their lackluster offense in the first game was an anomaly, the Eagles stormed back in the second game. The Eagles scored eight runs, highlighted by junior catcher and third baseman Greta Wilker’s three-run shot in the sixth inning. Emory won 8-3.
The following day, the Eagles returned home to kick off the Emory Invitational against the University of Rochester (N.Y.). A three-run fifth inning by the Eagles broke open a previously tied game and propelled Emory to a 5-3 win. Sophomore pitcher Madison Schaefer kept the Yellowjackets at bay with a solid outing, allowing three runs in five innings.
In their second game against Rochester, Emory once again displayed their offensive prowess. The team scored 10 runs in just four innings to force the mercy rule in the fifth. Freshman outfielder Baylee Walls had a career day at the plate, driving in four runs, including a three-run triple in the first inning. On the mound, senior pitcher Madeline Maday picked up her first win of the season, allowing only one run in a dominant five innings of work.
Head Coach Adrianna Baggetta was pleased with the pitching throughout the week.
“[The pitching] has improved every day,” Baggetta said. “[Good pitching] puts not as much pressure on the offense.”
The invitational continued with a doubleheader against Emory and Henry College (Va.) on March 13. In the first game, Emory only needed two innings of work to produce all the damage required to win. A four-run first inning and a three-run fourth gave Miller more than enough run support, as she only allowed four runs in a complete game performance. Sophomore utility player Meghan Murphy impressed at the plate with five RBIs and went on to be named the University Athletic Association (UAA) Co-Hitter of the Week for her performances throughout the invitational.
The second game proved to be a classic pitchers’ duel between the Wasps’ sophomore pitcher Alex Braun and the Eagles’ Schaefer. Even though Emory and Henry broke the deadlock in the fourth inning, Schaefer kept her composure and kept the Wasps scoreless the rest of the game.
“My job is to shut them down and trust that my team can produce on offense,” Schaefer said.
Her trust was rewarded in the bottom of the sixth inning as the Eagles were able to give her a 2-1 lead. In the seventh, Schaefer retired the Wasps in order, giving her a complete game win, allowing just one run on four hits.
The Eagles have one more week of non-conference play before they look to defend their UAA crown. Heading into conference play, Baggetta insists they won’t look to approach UAA games any differently.
“[We will] continue to worry about one pitch, one inning at a time,” Baggetta said. “We like [our] constant fight and never give up mentality.”
Emory split a home doubleheader against Piedmont College (Ga.) on Mar. 19, losing the first game 7-0 and winning the second game 9-2.
The Eagles return for a doubleheader at Covenant College (Ga.) on Mar.21.