The EMU softball women had a successful start to the 2019 season, winning their season opener on Saturday at the Fastpitch Dreams Spring Classic in North Myrtle Beach, S.C.
The Royals took an early morning win from Castleton before a loss to talented Coe left them with a split.
The women are back at it with two more on Sunday, taking on Cedar Crest at 11:30am followed by King's (Pa.) at 3:30pm. A live video feed is available of all of the games at the Fastpitch Dreams Spring Classic. EMU plays 10 games over five days, wrapping up on Wednesday.
EMU 3, Castleton 2
The Royals opened the year with a well-played close contest.
Castleton used back-to-back hits with two outs in the first to grab a 1-0 lead. A leadoff double in the fourth turned into another run and a 2-0 margin.
After earning just two baserunners through the first four frames, EMU opened things up in the fifth. Casey Coleman (Rockaway, N.J./Morris Knolls) led off with an infield hit and freshman McKenzie Reams (Gouchland, Va./Gouchland) added a one-out single. Cassidey Chrisman (Staunton, Va./Riverheads) stuck a single into center to plate Coleman for the first run.
Taylor Hensley (Orange, Va./Orange County) re-entered for Chrisman, and promptly stole second base. However, the throw from the catcher got away, allowing another run to score. Hensley they touched home on an RBI groundout from Beck Hoskins (Danville, Va./Westover Christian Academy), giving EMU the 3-2 lead.
The women left two runners in scoring position in the sixth, but it didn't matter as pitcher Kelsi Martin (Buena Vista, Va./Parry McCluer) retired all six Spartans in the final two frames, including four by strikeout.
Each team had seven hits in the game. The Royals got the edge by putting four of theirs together in the three-run fifth inning.
After missing all of last year with an injury, Coleman stood out with three successful plate appearances, getting a single, sacrifice and hit-by-pitch.
Emily Campbell (Broadway, Va./Broadway) started in the circle for EMU and allowed both runs in 4.1 innings of work. Martin threw 2.2 scoreless innings of relief to get the win.
Coe 8, EMU 0 – 6 innings
The Royals then matched up with Coe, a team that received an at-large bid to the National Tournament and finished 28-14 last year.
EMU put themselves in a hole by committing a two-run error in the top of the first. The Kohawks methodically scored in five of the six innings and rode a masterful performance by All-Midwest Region pitcher Alyssa Olson. The senior struck out 11 Royals over 6.0 perfect innings.
Alia Miller (Bridgewater, Va./Turner Ashby) started in the circle for Eastern Mennonite and was tagged for seven of the runs. Martin pitched the final 2.2 and gave up one unearned run.