BUENA VISTA, Va. — The Southern Virginia University softball team split its series against Eastern Mennonite Monday afternoon at Harvey-Dryden Field dropping the first game 5-4 and then winning game two 11-5.
"It was great to get our bats going again," said head coach Tiffane Pendleton. "Caitlin and Melanie had great outings today, 7/7 and 7/8 on base, and we look forward to continuing to progress as a team through the season."
After the first two innings of scoreless softball, EMU (3-6) scored two runs in the top frame of the third inning to hold an early lead.
The Royals extended its lead in the top of the fifth inning on an Emily Campbell single to left field, scoring Emily Davis from second base to now lead 3-0.
The Knights (2-8) responded with a big bottom half of the inning in the fifth frame, taking its first lead of the game scoring four runs. Caitlin Barber was the first hitter to get on base following a walk. After Kylee Christensen hit into a fielder's choice resulting in Barber out at second and with two outs, Emily McDaniel also earned a walk moving Christensen into scoring position. Danielle Asche batting in the third spot then hit a single scoring Christensen from second for Southern Virginia's first run of the game. Sophia Badell capitalized with the runners on board, hitting a three-run shot to left field for her second homer of the season and now giving the Knights the 4-3 lead.
EMU bounced back from the difficult inning with their bats, retaking the lead scoring two runs on four hits in the top of the sixth inning, now up 5-4.
In the final two innings, the Knights were able to generate baserunners, but unfortunately, they could not push any runs across the plate falling 5-4 in game one.
Megan Daniels was in the circle for the Knights throwing a full seven innings, allowing five runs (four earned) on eight hits, with one walk and two strikeouts.
On the mound for the Royals was Campbell tossing seven innings, surrendering four runs on eight hits, three walks, and a strikeout.
Badell led Southern Virginia at the plate with two hits (2-for-4) and three RBIs. Asche also collects a multi-hit game (2-for-4) and an RBI while Christensen, Barber, Mykayla Johnson, and Melanie Peyton each recorded a hit.
After scoring the first run of the game, the Royals held a 1-0 lead. Southern Virginia's offense started with what would be its biggest inning in the game scoring four runs to lead 4-1. Christensen started it off after being hit by a pitch and then advanced to scoring position on a wild pitch. McDaniel followed with a walk to put another baserunner on for the Knights. During the next at-bat, Christensen and McDaniel both stole third and second base with Asche in the batter's box. Asche singled scoring both runners and took the lead 2-1.
Now with two outs still in the first inning, Peyton singled to center field, and then the next batter Mykayla Johnson also singled to center placing runners on first and second. Adisen Webster tripled, scoring both runners to tack onto the lead, 4-1.
After a 1-2-3 inning in the top of the second frame, the Knights extended its lead over the Royals. With McDaniel on first after being hit by a pitch and two outs, Asche smashed a two-run homer to left field for her first of the season now leading 6-1.
The Royals answered back in the top of the third scoring two runs, but the Knights scored again in the bottom of the third inning after a Johnson double and Webster hit by pitch set up a Christensen single scored a run to lead 7-3.
For the fourth-straight inning, Southern Virginia scored a run this time coming on the bat of Johnson grounding out to the shortstop scoring Asche from third.
After the Royals picked up one run in the top of the sixth, the Knights' offense continued to produce runs in the bottom of the sixth inning on RBIs from Peyton and Jordan Stites while also getting a run off an EMU error to build a commanding 11-4 lead.
Eastern Mennonite managed to get one more run in before the Knights' defense was able to close the door to seal the win.
Christensen picks up her first collegiate victory in the circle tossing the complete game, allowing nine hits, five runs (three earned), and a walk.
The Knights tallied 12 hits led by perfect performances at the plate from Asche (4-for-4) and Peyton (3-for-3). Asche led the team with a game-high four RBIs while Peyton extends her hit streak to four games. Johnson also produced a multiple-hit game with two while, Christensen, Webster, and Stites collect the remaining hits.
Southern Virginia will next host Bridgewater for a doubleheader on Thursday, Mar. 12, at 5 p.m.