SALEM, VA. (Press Release) -- It took more than seven hours to complete, but the EMU softball women suffered a disappointing 9-7 loss to Randolph-Macon in extra innings in their ODAC Tournament opener. A massive rain delay disrupted the schedule for the day, pushing the Royals' upcoming elimination game with Bridgewater to Saturday morning at 11:00am in Salem, Va.
Eastern Mennonite's two seniors got them on the board in the top of the first, as Molly Smith (Elkton, Va./Spotswood) poked a two-out single. Brooke Hensley (Elkton, Va./Spotswood) followed with an RBI double to left center and the Royals went ahead 1-0.
The Yellow Jackets tied it with a single run in the bottom of the second, but the Royals went right back in front in their next at-bat. Brooke Sigrist (Crimora, Va./Fort Defiance) led off with a double, and Hensley brought her home with her second two-out RBI double. An R-MC error allowed another run to score and EMU had a 3-1 edge.
A solo homerun from Randolph-Macon in the fourth made it a one-run game, and the fifth saw the Yellow Jackets earn their first lead. After loading the bases with no one out, R-MC tied the score at 3-3 with a sacrifice fly and then went in front when a run scored on a two-out wild pitch.
Aislinn Lucas (Grottoes, Va./Fort Defiance) led off EMU's half of the sixth with a single up the middle, but then the game hit a lengthy weather delay as lightning and rain engulfed the Roanoke Valley. After a break of more than five hours, the Royals continued their rally. With runners on second and third, Sigrist singled to right. One run scored but the second runner was thrown out at the plate, leaving the score locked at 4-4. That missed opportunity came back to hurt the women.
EMU escaped a bases loaded jam in the bottom of the sixth, and then went back in front in the seventh when Jordan Aylor (Madison, Va./Madison County) led off with a her seventh homerun of the year. Mariah Foltz (Broadway, Va./Broadway) added an RBI double as the Royals built up a 6-4 cushion.
The Yellow Jackets had a two-out rally in the bottom of the seventh, however, as a single and homerun re-tied the score at 6-6.
Entering their sixth extra-inning game of the season, the Royals got right down to business. Sigrist slapped a two-out RBI single to bring in the women's placed runner and put EMU in front once again. Randolph-Macon had one more longball left in them, however, as a three-run blast to right field provided the walk-off decision, 9-7.
Each team had 11 hits, but the Yellow Jackets had an edge with seven walks and three homeruns. The Royals left seven runners on base.
Sigrist finished 3-5 with two RBIs and a run. Smith reached base three times with a single and two walks, scoring twice. Hensley was 2-4 with two RBIs. Lucas also had a pair of hits and scored a run.
Foltz pitched 2.0 innings of relief, getting tagged for five runs and the loss. Cara Neikirk (Salem, Va./Glenvar) gave up four runs in 5.1 innings and got a no decision.
This will be the second straight year that Eastern Mennonite and Bridgewater have met in a second-round elimination game in the ODAC Tournament. The Eagles beat EMU last year, 8-2. In the two meetings between the rivals this season, BC won one game while the second ended in a tie due to darkness.