Written by Sean Dahlin
BUENA VISTA, Va.—After dropping game one 11-0, the Southern Virginia University softball team bounced back with an 8-4 win to split Wednesday's doubleheader at Eastern Mennonite University.
"I'm very proud of our team today for recovering from a tough loss to come back and win the next game decisively," said third-year Head Coach Duste Grawrock. "Our captains led by example and gave the rest of the team the needed confidence."
Southern Virginia (4-6) fell behind early in an eventual 11-0 five-inning loss to Eastern Mennonite (3-5) before taking its own 3-1 lead in game two as senior Malia Falevai (Mesa, Ariz.) and junior Sara Harmon (Buena Vista, Va.)—who went 3-for-4 with two RBI and a double—along with freshman Katie Evans (Grays Lake, Idaho) each knocked in a run in the top of the first inning.
After going 10-for-19 at the plate the previous week, Knights sophomore catcher Sarah Edwards (Phoenix, Ariz.) continued her offensive tear finishing with three more hits on the day, including a third inning RBI-single to center field to bring in teammate freshman Chance Hegsted (Rupert, Idaho).
Southern Virginia then extended its lead running three more runs on the scoreboard in the third and fourth innings. Senior shortstop Dinah Rogers (Huntington Beach, Calif.) accounted for all three runs on a pair of RBI-doubles in the top of each respective inning to hit in Falevai and Harmon while scoring a run on a wild throw from the Royals' first baseman in the top of the fourth.
Eastern Mennonite designated hitter Angelia Miller cut into the Knights' lead (7-2) in the fifth on a single to right field that scored Brooke Sigrist before Southern Virginia added an insurance run as Harmon singled in freshman Cheyenne Hegsted (Rupert, Idaho)—who was 3-for-4 with two runs, a double and a stolen base.
The Royals' rally attempt, with Aislinn Lucas and Jordan Aylor crossing home plate in the final inning of the contest, was cut short as Knight senior co-captain Laura Tome (Pasco, Wash.) caught a Brooke Hensley fly ball in center field on route to the win.
Southern Virginia starter McKenzy Mackay (Kaysville, Utah) earned the win moving to 3-2 and tossing her fourth complete-game of the year while registering eight strikeouts and allowing one earned run. Eastern Mennonite's Kaitlyn Morris (0-4) was handed the after allowing 10 hits and six runs in 2.0 innings of work.
Southern Virginia ended game two with 15 hits as all batters recorded at least one base knock.
In the opener, the Royals provided all their offensive prowess in the third and fourth innings beginning with Cheyenne Cash stealing home for the first run of the game followed by Sigrist, Courtney Allman and Lucas scoring through three complete.
The bottom of the fourth saw seven more runs score,—all on four home runs from Eastern Mennonite—including back-to-back-to-back jacks by Allman, Lucas and Miller over the left and center fields respectively.
Edwards and Che. Hegsted recorded the Knights' lone hits of game one, both doubles. Twin sister Cha. Hegsted also had a solid defensive showing tracking down three fly balls throughout the contest, covering ground and cutting off gaps.
Royals pitcher Aylor (2-1) registered the win throwing five complete in a two-hit, five-strikeout outing while Southern Virginia's Annie Biggs (Gilbert, Ariz.) took the loss, moving to 1-4 overall.
Softball returns home for a four-game series against the West Virginia University Institute of Technology on Friday and Saturday, March 8-9.