Visiting Virginia Wesleyan lived up to the hype, as the two-time defending national champions swept a softball doubleheader from EMU on Tuesday.
The Royals fall to 14-16 overall and 3-11 in the ODAC as they prepare for their final home set of the season on Saturday. Eastern Mennonite hosts Randolph College for two, starting at 1:00pm, in a day that will include Senior & Parent Recognition, along with a special ceremony honoring former EMU softball alumni.
No. 2 Virginia Wesleyan 10, EMU 1 – 5 inn.
The opener had the makings of a pitcher's duel between Alia Miller (Bridgewater, Va./Turner Ashby) and the Marlins' two-time National Player of the Year, Hanna Hull. Miller allowed just an infield single in the first, while the Royals had some solid swings against Hull, despite a 1-2-3 inning.
VWU had a two-out hit in the second before Hull started to take over, striking out the side in EMU's half.
Trouble struck in the third when the Marlins got back to the top of their order. With one out, a single and two walks loaded the bases. Three straight singles plated five runs for a quick 5-0 margin.
Eastern Mennonite answered in the bottom of the inning, getting two-out walks from Beck Hoskins (Danville, Va./Westover Christian Academy) and Danielle Brenneman (Waynesboro, Va./Stuarts Draft). Freshman Nicole Mongold (Page County, Va./Page County) shot a single up the middle to bring in Hoskins, ending a 21-inning scoreless streak for Hull.
But the Marlins kept rolling, scoring five more in the fourth, including a grand slam, for a 10-1 lead. Hull struck out the side again in the fourth and the visitors rolled to a mercy-shortened decision.
Hoskins, Brenneman and Mongold turned into the only baserunners for EMU in the game.
Miller was tagged for nine runs over 3.1 innings in the loss. Katelin Martin (Goochland, Va./Goochland) pitched the final 1.2.
No. 2 Virginia Wesleyan 6, EMU 0
The Royals played a one-run game with the powerful Marlins over the final six innings of the nightcap. Unfortunately a bad first inning put them behind the eight ball.
In a harbinger of a trouble, the game started with back-to-back walks. VWU's fourth batter hit a two-run single to quickly put the Marlins in front. The women nearly got out without any more damage, but a two-out bases loaded triple was a crippling blow, inflating a 5-0 margin.
EMU found ways to get runners on base against Carla Hall, VWU's No. 2 starter. They had a pair of infield singles in the third; however, a line drive double play and pop up stifled the rally.
The Marlins added a two-out run in the top of the fifth, providing the final score. The women managed just one baserunner over the final four frames on an infield single in the fifth.
Brenneman and Emily Davis (King George, Va./Fredericksburg Christian) were Eastern Mennonite's only women to reach base, each collecting a pair of singles.
Kelsi Martin (Buena Vista, Va./Parry McCluer) took the complete game loss, allowing 11 hits over 7.0 frames.