The Emory softball team split its doubleheader against the Birmingham-Southern College (Ala.) Panthers this week at home, winning the first game 5-2 and losing the second 0-7. Emory’s record now stands at 26-4 for the season, as their team maintains its ninth-place national rank.
In the first game, sophomore centerfielder Taylor Forte, senior catcher Micah Scharff, sophomore third baseman Tara Fallahee and freshman right fielder Gracie Taber drove in the team’s five runs.
The team hit well, with junior infielder Hannah Sendel hitting a two-run homer in the bottom of the third to bring Scharff home. Fallahee hit a strong double RBI in the fifth inning, allowing Scharff to score her second run of the night. In the bottom of the sixth, Fallahee once again was able to secure runs for her team, hitting a solid two-run RBI single that allowed Forte and Taber to score.
Sophomore pitcher Brittany File was the relief pitcher in the first game, throwing three scoreless innings and striking out nine batters. Sendel brought her total home runs for the season to 11, the most on the team. Fallahee drove in two solid RBIs and brought in three runs for the Eagles.
In the second game against Birmingham, the Panthers drastically shifted momentum with their pitcher sophomore Taylor Harkins shutting out the Emory offense and giving up just two hits the entire game. Harkins was able to secure seven strikeouts throughout the game.
The loss marked Emory’s first home loss in 16 games.
“The difference between the first game and the second game was definitely a lack of hitting adjustments,” Alyssa Pollard wrote in an email to the Wheel. “When they switched pitchers, we didn’t adjust well to the different styles of pitching.”
In the first three innings, each team kept up the pressure defensively, with the Panthers allowing the Eagles to get on base once and the Panthers reaching first twice.
In the top of the fourth inning, the Eagles defense stumbled and Birmingham took advantage. File walked three players, loading the bases. A walk RBI with the bases loaded gave the Panthers the lead in the game and set the precedent for the rest of the game.
Junior Sydney Carpenter then replaced File, but the Eagles continued to struggle. Panthers senior utility player Bethany Fronk hit a two-run single RBI followed by a single RBI from freshman infielder Micaela Beck, bringing the score to 4-0.
The Eagles defense was never able to recover. A fielder’s choice followed by an error in the fifth inning allowed Panthers sophomore infielder Alex Skene to reach second, bringing in an unearned run. In the sixth inning, after Fronk drew a walk, Beck hit a two-run homer and brought the score to a final 7-0.
In an email to the Wheel, Scharff wrote that she really enjoyed playing against Birmingham. The team is excited to play them again when they compete for seeding in the NCAA tournament.
The Eagles will return to action at home on Thursday, April 9 to face Agnes Scott College (Ga.) at 3 p.m. and 5 p.m.