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Eagles Prepare For Holiday Hoops

BRIDGEWATER, Va. - Tournament basketball and candy canes – both fit in nicely during late December.

College basketball teams across the nation will be taking part in holiday tournaments and the Bridgewater College Eagles are among that group.

The Bridgewater men will head to Daytona Beach for a pair of games this weekend while the women’s team will play in the Pat Deacon Classic hosted by Transylvania University in Lexington, Ky.

Both teams will have their hands full with quality opponents.

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Touch Choice Turned Out Well For Augsburger

BRIDGEWATER, Va. - Caroline Augsburger faced the same tough decisions many high school athletes encounter. Not only was she faced with choosing a college, Augsburger had to choose a sport.

In high school, Augsburger was a standout performer in soccer and field hockey. Choosing between the two was a difficult decision.

“In high school I played field hockey in the fall and soccer in the spring,” explained the Eagles senior. “I had a great spring playing soccer my senior year. With college soccer just a few months away, I think that influenced my decision. I could go to college and get right back into soccer, a sport that I just had a great season playing.”

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Reddick Joins 1,000 Point Club

BRIDGEWATER, Va. - Ed Reddick entered Thursday night’s game at Mount Aloysius needing 13 points to reach the 1,000 career point milestone.

The senior forward had just four points at the half, but he poured in 15 points following intermission to not only reach the personal milestone, but help the Eagles to a 72-66 victory – their first of the season.

Reddick netted his 1,000th career point with 5:42 left in the game when he made two free throws to give the Eagles a one-point lead.

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Ludtke Moves To The Front Of The Pack

BRIDGEWATER, Va. - Bridgewater College senior Zanny Ludtke has been an integral part of the Eagles’ cross country team’s rise to prominence in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference.

Ludtke has earned all-conference honors three times and been a part of three ODAC championship teams. Each year has marked a steady progression toward the front of the pack for the Purcellville, Va., native.

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Miller's At His Best When It Matters Most

BRIDGEWATER, Va. - Some athletes have the ability to rise to the occasion during the big moments.

During his four years in the Bridgewater cross country program, senior Tim Miller has been at his best during the big meets.

Miller’s first “big meet” may have been one of his best when he finished 10th overall at the ODAC Championships during his freshman season. Miller was second in that meet among first-year runners, trailing only his Eagles teammate, Luke Sohl.

Miller has three All-ODAC honors to his credit and has never finished lower than 16th at the conference meet.

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Cross Country Kicks Off Fall Championship Season

BRIDGEWATER, Va. - Championship week is upon the Old Dominion Athletic Conference as the fall sports season nears its end.

Hopes are high for several Bridgewater teams as they compete for conference titles.

The ODAC cross country championship meets will be staged Saturday in Greensboro, N.C. The Bridgewater men and women are both strong contenders as each team tries to win a conference title for the second straight year.

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Homecoming A Time To Relive Those Memories

BRIDGEWATER, Va. - The road to the ODAC Field Hockey Championship has gone through Lynchburg College for the past eight years. And, it’s been one tough road to navigate.

The Hornets have been the dominant force during that time, but things may be changing.

Lynchburg is still undefeated entering the final week of the regular season, but several teams, including the Bridgewater College Eagles, have closed the gap.

Lynchburg edged Shenandoah 1-0 and defeated Randolph-Macon 4-3 in double overtime. Bridgewater also took the Hornets to overtime before losing 4-3.

“There’s definitely a lot more parity in the ODAC this year,” said Bridgewater head coach Ally Kenyon.  “Other programs have been working hard to close that gap at the top.”

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Homecoming A Time To Relive Those Memories

BRIDGEWATER, Va. - Homecoming is always a special time on a college campus and athletics are often the focal point of the event.

Action begins this evening when the swimming team hosts Emory & Henry and the volleyball team entertains Hollins. Saturday the Eagles football team will face off with ODAC rival Washington and Lee, the volleyball teams entertains Roanoke and the men’s soccer team hosts Guilford in a key conference contest. Sunday afternoon the women’s soccer team hosts Salem College in non-conference action.

Homecoming is also a time for reunions and the classes 0f 2014, 2009, 2004, 1999, 1994, 1989, 1984, 1979, 1974 and 1969 are scheduled to return to campus.

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Baca Emerges As One Of ODAC's Top Scoring Threats

BRIDGEWATER, Va. - Seven games in to the 2013-14 season, head women’s soccer coach Mike Van Horn made a change in his starting lineup.

With his team struggling to score, Van Horn took Julia Baca out of the back line and moved her to a forward position. In 14 games last year, Baca scored nine goals and the production has continued this season as the junior from Mount Airy, Md., has developed into one of the top scoring threats in the conference.

“We had to make a move and during drills in practice Jules showed she had the technique to finish,” said Van Horn.”

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Hoops Season Tips Off Wednesday With First Practice

BRIDGEWATER, Va. - Don Burgess looks forward to the leaves turning color each year.

“When the leaves start turning, you know basketball season is right around the corner,” said Burgess.”

The 2014-15 hoops season is indeed, right around the corner.

Burgess, the men’s head basketball coach at Bridgewater, and head women’s coach Jean Willi will top off the new season on Wednesday, the first official day of practice in Division III.

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Newsome No Stranger To Gillenwater, Lemn

BRIDGEWATER, Va. - Emory & Henry head football coach Curt Newsome may be a newcomer to the Old Dominion Athletic Conference this season, but he's no stranger to a couple of members of the Bridgewater football coaching staff.

Before taking the head coaching job at his alma mater, Newsome spent the past 15 years coaching in Division I football. He worked two stints at James Madison on the staff of Mickey Matthews and in between spent seven seasons on Frank Beamer's staff at Virginia Tech.

While at JMU, Newsome spent most of his time working with the offensive line and one of his players was Scott Lemn, now the Eagles offensive line coach. One of Newsome's fellow coaches on the JMU staff was Kyle Gillenwater, now Bridgewater's linebackers coach.

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"Team Tennis" Competition Ends Fall Season

BRIDGEWATER, Va. - With one week remaining in the fall practice schedule, the Bridgewater tennis coaching staff was searching for a fun and competitive way to close out the fall season.

The answer was bringing the professional “team tennis” concept to the Laura Mapp Courts this week.

The Eagles’ men’s and women’s teams were combined and then divided into two squads. Three days of competition, which will conclude Friday, will determine the winner.

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A New Era Begins For Bridgewater Softball Program

BRIDGEWATER, Va. - Fall ball is a bit different for the Bridgewater College softball program this year.

After 23 seasons at the helm, veteran coach Donnie Fulk retired following the 2014 spring season.

This fall has been a huge learning experience not only for the Eagles players, but also for first-year year head coach Kim McCall and her staff.

Fall ball is usually a time for the coach to see exactly what the new players can do. Maybe, the coach will tinker with the system a bit.

For McCall, there are so many things she wants to do and too little time to get things done.

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Baseball Back To Work After Stellar 2014 Season

BRIDGEWATER, Va. - The fall sports seasons are now in full swing but there are some other teams on campus getting some early work in. The spring sports teams - baseball, softball and men's and women's lacrosse - all get some time in the fall for practice.

For the baseball team, that means they are back on the field following one of the best seasons in program history. A year ago, the Eagles won the ODAC championship and a program record 36 games. The team was just one win away from advancing out of regional play and going to Appleton, Wisc., for the national tournament.

Last year's success has brought a little added excitement to fall ball.

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Kelly Bounces Back From Last Year's Injury To Start For Eagles

BRIDGEWATER, Va. - The kickoff of the 2013 women’s soccer season was just moments away and junior Krista Kelly was warming up for her start as the Bridgewater goalkeeper.

Kelly dove for a ball as her warm-up session neared its end and her season was over before it even started.

“At first, I thought I had just jammed by finger,” Kelly said before practice earlier this week. “That happens a lot with goalkeepers. I just started shaking my hand, trying to shake off the pain, and then I realized it was worse than a jammed finger.”

Kelly, an athletics training major, knew her injury was serious.

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Saturday A Busy Day On Campus For Bridgewater Sports Teams

BRIDGEWATER, Va. - Each year when September rolls around, there is always plenty of excitement on a college campus.

It’s no different here at Bridgewater College, but this year the excitement level has been kicked up a couple of notches.

Earlier this week, the campus was buzzing with the Grand Opening of the newly renovated Nininger Hall. A large gathering of faculty, staff, students, alumni and fans came out for the dedication and a tour of the new and improved facility.

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Black Embraces Role On Men's Soccer Team

BRIDGEWATER, Va. - Chris Black stepped onto the Bridgewater soccer field four years ago with no promises.

The aspiring soccer player contacted head coach Ryan Bennison, who was starting his first season at the helm, asking for a tryout. Black not only made the squad as a freshman, but he has persevered to become one of the team leaders in this his final season with the Eagles.

“I really didn’t know what to expect,” Black said when recalling his freshman tryout. “I approached the tryout with nothing to lose. If I made the team, great, I would get the chance to play college soccer. If I didn’t make the team, at least I would have the chance to see what it was like to play with players at that level for a week or two. The fact that Coach Bennison picked me for the team was a real blessing.”

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Fulk Leaves Winning Legacy

BRIDEWATER, Va. - Over the past 23 years, Donnie Fulk built the Bridgewater softball program from a fledgling team with just 10 players to one of the most respected programs in the region.

After those 23 years and 598 victories, Fulk  is just like a lot of other coaches in the business.

He tends to remember the losses a lot easier that some of the victories.

"The loss in the regional in 2007 was probably the toughest," Fulk recalls.

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Baseball Seniors Finally Hoist Championship Trophy

BRIDEWATER, Va. - Bridgewater's 11 seniors waited a long time to hoist the Old-Dominion Athletic Conference baseball championship trophy.

In each of their first three seasons, the seniors reached the championship round only to be denied on the final day.

"I don't think you could have written a better story," senior catcher Tyler Hoffman said. "We had lost in the final three straight years and this year we had to do it the hard way. We had to win two on the final day against a very good team. It was an awesome feeling."

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Love For The Game Leads Hinegardner To Internship With Nationals

BRIDEWATER, Va. - Since she was a little girl, baseball has been an integral part of Brea Hinegardner's life. From throwing rocks off the field where her father coached to becoming a college softball player, she has always been around a ball and a bat.

 Her passion for the sport is intense. Working in professional baseball has been her goal and she will begin that career path following graduation as her love for the game has helped her land an internship in Major League Baseball with the Washington Nationals.

"I am so excited," Hinegardner said. "D.C.makes me nervous, but I'm excited to the leave the Valley, where I've lived most of my life, and experience something new. I think this is a huge stepping stone for my career."

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Rose Earns Opportunity To Defend Title At IHSA National Shwo

BRIDEWATER, Va. - Senior rider Taylor Rose competed at the IHSA National Show in each of her first three years at Bridgewater College. She certainly didn’t want that streak to come to end by missing the event during her senior year.

Rose had two opportunities to return to nationals. Bridgewater was one of four teams competing at the recent Zone 4 with the top two teams earning a trip to nationals. The Eagles, however, came up one point short in their quest to earn a trip to nationals as a team.

That meant Rose’s hopes of earning another trip to the IHSA National Show rested on one ride in the Open on the Flat individual competition at the Zone show.

“We were probably in the ring for six or seven minutes, but it felt like an eternity,” the Bridgewater senior said. “There was more pressure this year.”

Rose has been one of Bridgewater’s top performers during her career and has helped the riding program become the top force in the region.

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Building Of Lacrosse Program On Schedule

BRIDEWATER, Va. - The Bridgewater College Equestrian team will attempt to earn the program’s second trip to the IHSA National Show when the Eagles compete this Sunday at the Zones 4 Championship Show at Hollins University.

Bridgewater made its first appearance on the national stage in 2011 when the team finished in fifth place.

Four teams will compete at the Zones with the top two qualifying for a trip to nationals. Joining the Eagles at this weekend’s show will be Goucher, St. Andrews and Mary Washington.

The four teams are familiar with each other as they have competed in the Tournament of Champions series the past two years. Bridgewater has had success in a big show environment, finishing as reserve champion each of the past two years in the Tournament of Champions series.

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Building Of Lacrosse Program On Schedule

BRIDEWATER, Va. - Year two of Mic Grant’s building plan for the men’s lacrosse program appears to be on schedule.

The Eagles are 5-3 and are currently in the midst of a 10-day break in the schedule before facing the bulk of their Old Dominion Athletic Conference slate.

The break was necessitated by a schedule change and is not the norm during lacrosse season. This break, however, may prove beneficial for the Eagles.

“The break has actually been a blessing,” Grant said. “We’ve had some guys dinged up and they have had the chance to heal up before we enter the meat of our conference schedule.”

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Spring Sports Battle Winter Weather

BRIDEWATER, Va. - A forecast of 60-degree weather is on the horizon for the next two days.

Is spring finally here to stay?  In the words of ESPN talking head Lee Corse, “Not so fast my friend.”

A look at the extended 10-day forecast shows more cold weather in store for the coming week. We’ll get back to that later.

The long winter has certainly played havoc with the spring sports schedule. In addition to preparing teams to play games, coaches have had to add duties to their plates.

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Willi Finds the Positives From Tough Season

BRIDEWATER, Va. - Looking back on a losing season is something Bridgewater College head women’s basketball coach Jean Willi has only had to do twice in her career.

When doing so after this season’s 9-17 record, Willi was able to identify the positives.

Start with the fact the Eagles played some of their best basketball against the best teams in the conference.

Willi’s squad posted victories over Virginia Wesleyan and Guilford. The Eagles played rival Eastern Mennonite tough in both matchups. The team lost in the final seconds at home to Lynchburg. In the conference tournament, Bridgewater matched ODAC champion Randolph-Macon point-for-point for the majority of their quarterfinal matchup, losing 96-91.

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Burgess Optimistic When Looking At Next Season

BRIDEWATER, Va. - The 2013-14 season was certainly frustrating at times for the Eagles coaching staff.

There were nights when the Eagles looked like one of the better teams in the ODAC. Bridgewater defeated three of the top four teams in the conference during the regular season. The Eagles also defeated Hampden-Sydney, a team that was ranked at the time and, at the end of the year, played in the ODAC tournament championship game.

“We did some positive things, some things I think we can build on,” said Burgess. “We’ve had back-to-back winning seasons on the court and we were .500 in the conference.”

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Eagles Rode The Gauntlet To A Regional Championship

BRIDEWATER, Va. - It's probably still a bit premature to use the "D-word" when talking about the Bridgewater College Equestrian Team.

More work still needs to be done in order to be considered a dynasty, but winning three regional titles in the past four years is a pretty good run.

The Eagles entered the final weekend of 2013-14 IHSA competition trailing Sweet Briar by just one point. All the teams had to ride the gauntlet as they faced three shows in three days.

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ODAC Basketball Tournament Play Tips Off Monday

BRIDEWATER, Va. - ODAC basketball tournament time is just around the corner.

The women’s tournament begins Monday night with first round games at campus sites. The top four teams in the conference standings receive byes with the next eight playing for a spot in the quarterfinals at the Salem Civic Center.

The same scenario exists for the men’s tournament with the first-round games set to be played Tuesday evening.

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Distance Runners, Jumpers Lead Indoor Track Teams

BRIDEWATER, Va. - The ODAC’s indoor track teams have two weekends of competition remaining before this year’s conference championship meet on March 2 in Hampton. If the early season results are a good indication, several Bridgewater athletes should challenge for individual titles.

On the men’s team, the strength of the squad resides with the distance runners and jumpers.

Distance ace Luke Sohl has the top time in the conference in the mile, 3000 and 5000. He will likely run the mile and the 3000 at the ODAC meet. Sohl’s time of 8:22.86 in the 3000 meters ranks No. 10 in Division III and his 5000 meter time of 14:49.54 ranks No. 23.

The story is much the same for the women as the distance runners and jumpers are leading the way.

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Riders Start Spring Season In Second Place In Region Standings

BRIDEWATER, Va. - The Bridgewater College equestrian team resumes its IHSA schedule this Friday when the riders travel to Lynchburg for the Randolph College show.

The Eagles enter the spring season just two points out of first place in the region standings and are poised to make a run at another regional championship.

Bridgewater put together consistent team performances throughout the fall season, finishing as reserve champion at every show, and trails only Sweet Briar in the points race.

“We’re always looking for consistency. Not only consistency as a team, but consistency from each rider in each division,” Bridgewater director of riding Jerry Schurink said. “We had a very good fall season and we’re looking for more of the same this spring.”

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Eagles' Shelley Having Solid Senior Season

BRIDEWATER, Va. - Molly Shelley is making the most of her final season with the Bridgewater women’s basketball team.

After seeing limited time on the court during her first three seasons, Shelley has emerged as a key component on this season’s team.

Making the transition from high school basketball to the college game proved tough for Shelley.

“In high school I was the team’s best offensive player and best defensive player,” Shelley said. “In college I had to re-learn how to play defense at this level. Coach Willi expects so much from you on defense. It was totally different. The quickness of the game was so much different than high school.”

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Despite Injury, Hunter Stays Involved

BRIDEWATER, Va. - Point guard Matt Hunter was having one of his typical nights when the Eagles hosted nationally-ranked Virginia Wesleyan earlier this season.

A quick look at the first-half stat line and Hunter’s impact would appear negligible – zero points, zero assists in 13 minutes.

Yet with Hunter running the show, the Eagles’ offense was clicking on all cylinders. The team hit better than 50 percent of its shots and held an eight-point lead at the break over the Marlins.

Hunter is a perfect example of a player whose impact can’t be measured by numbers alone.

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Eagles Host Roanoke For A Hoops Doubleheader

BRIDEWATER, Va. - Bridgewater fans can take in a full afternoon of basketball Saturday as the Eagles host Roanoke College in a rare college doubleheader.

Action begins at 1 p.m. when the Bridgewater women take on the Maroons, one of the hottest teams in the ODAC. The men's game follows with the Eagles looking to get back on track against a dangerous Maroons team.

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Numbers Tell Part Of The Story

BRIDEWATER, Va. - "There are three types of lies - lies, damned lies and statistics." This phrase was popularized in the States by Mark Twain who attributed the quote to British prime minister Benjamin Disraeli.

Statistics are a vital component of athletics and yes, statistics can often be misleading. There are times, however, when the numbers can point out tendencies during a team's season. Such is the case with the Bridgewater men's and women's basketball programs this season.

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Eagles Looking Forward To "Second Season"

BRIDEWATER, Va. - The Bridgewater College Eagles enter the meat of their conference schedule with a 3-8 overall record, certainly not where veteran head coach Jean Willi expected her team to be at this point of the season.

There is evidence, however, that this Eagles team may be better than its record. Take a look at the schedule and Coach Willi's team faced a brutal early season slate. Three of the team's losses came against teams currently residing within the Top 25.

"Our second season begins Saturday," Willi said. "That's the way we are looking at it. "

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Eagles Ready For Big Conference Week At Nininger Hall

BRIDEWATER, Va. - It's definitely been a cold couple of days in the Valley, but things are about to heat up in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference men's basketball race.

Bridgewater head coach Don Burgess is pleased to have a 6-4 record at this stage of the season, but he and his team realize that things are about to get tougher as the remaining 14 games on the schedule are against conference foes.

The Eagles are 1-1 in the ODAC with a loss on the road to Randolph and a win at home over a Hampden-Sydney team that was ranked No. 20 in the nation when they came to Nininger Hall.

Bridgewater will have a chance this week to make a big statement with home games against two teams that have been ranked in the Top 20 this season.

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'Tis The Season To Give Back

BRIDEWATER, Va. - Giving back to the community is something each of our athletic teams strives to do at some point during the school year.

Earlier this year the golf teams spent a day at Lakeview Golf Course, hosting a golf outing with Special Olympians. The women’s soccer team raised funds to help a local youngster who was battling leukemia. Those are just two examples of Bridgewater student-athletes making a difference in the community.

During this holiday season, the Eagles basketball teams are during their part to lend a helping hand.

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Battle-Tested Eagles Winning With Solid Defense

BRIDEWATER, Va. - This past Saturday, No. 20 Hampden-Sydney had whittled a double-digit, second half deficit down to just three points with two minutes left to play.

A year ago, the Bridgewater Eagles lost several games in a similar manner. The team would build up a big lead, only to see it slip away. Saturday was different. The Eagles held off the Tigers over the final two minutes and closed out the 65-57 conference victory.

“I think we’ve grown up a lot as a team,” junior forward Ed Reddick said. “We’re tougher mentally. We were good enough a year ago to get a big lead against good teams, but we weren’t able stop runs. Hampden-Sydney made its run, but we were able to withstand the run and finish the game.”

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Women's Basketball Team Switches Gears For Lynchburg Game

BRIDEWATER, Va. - The Bridgewater women’s basketball team will have to totally change gears Friday evening when they travel to Lynchburg College to play the Hornets.

Earlier this week the Eagles lost to Randolph-Macon, one of the top scoring teams in the nation, by a score of 99-81.

The pace is expected to be much different in Lynchburg.

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Former Eagles Softball Standout Still Playing The Game

BRIDGEWATER, Va. - Former Bridgewater College softball standout Caity Butler will be playing for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes next week in Phoenix, Ariz., against the national Wounded Warriors Amputee Softball Team.

The FCA All-Star team features former college players and Olympians

The national Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team (WWAST) represents some of our nation’s bravest and most determined heroes, soldiers and veterans. The players on the team are athletic young men who were severely injured while serving our country while in the military. The injuries resulted in amputation and through rigorous and extensive rehabilitation these men have once again become competitive athletes.

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Sohl, Kubisiak Chase All-American Honor

BRIDGEWATER, Va. - Earning All-American status in any sport is a lofty goal.

In a sport such as cross country, the task can seem extremely daunting.

You’re running against the best in the country and you get one shot. You have to be your best against the best on one scheduled Saturday. The target is finishing in the Top 35 out of a field of more than 200 runners. That’s 200-plus runners that have the exact same goal.

That’s been the goal for Bridgewater’s Luke Sohl and Kaylee Kubisiak since the beginning of the season.

Earning All-American honors won’t be easy, but it’s a goal that Bridgewater head cross country coach Brian Flynn believes is certainly within reach.

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Depth Carried Cross Country Team To Regional Title

BRIDGEWATER, Va. - Bridgewater’s Brian Flynn is not only a pretty good coach; turns out he’s one heck of a prognosticator.

Prior the NCAA South/Southeast Regional meet Flynn said his men’s team would need to place all five counters in the Top 30 and the top three in the Top 20 in order to be in the mix for one of the top two spots,

Turns out, he was right on the money. The fact the Eagles did even better propelled the team to the program’s first even regional title and an automatic berth to NCAA Division III National Meet.

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Volleyball Team Displayed Strong Character During Trying Season

BRIDGEWATER, Va. - You have probably heard the old cliché, "sports build character."

Legendary UCLA basketball coach John Wooden had a different take on the subject. The Wizard of Westwood was quoted as saying "Sports do not build character. They reveal it."

If you go with Coach Wooden's line of thinking, the character of this year's Bridgewater College volleyball was certainly revealed during a very trying season. As it turned out these Eagles were a strong-willed, mentally tough group, with no quit and a lot of fight.

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Fall Sports Season Winds Down

BRIDGEWATER, Va. The fall sports season is just about in the books.

The football team has one game left to play and the cross country teams have the regional meet this weekend. For the rest of the fall sports teams, the games have ended.

The cross country teams have had almost 10 days to savor their ODAC Championships. Now, it’s back to business as the teams prepare for the NCAA South/Southeast Regional this Saturday in Newport News, Va. The men’s team is ranked second in the regional poll behind Centre. Also expected to contend will be Christopher Newport as the Captains are running on their home course. The women’s team enters the race ranked No. 4 in the region behind Trinity (Tex.), Emory and Centre.

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Teamwork Helped Eagles Sweep Cross Country Titles

BRIDGEWATER, Va. - At first glance, cross country may not seem like much of a team sport. Sure, a team score is tallied at the end of the race, but that's based on each individual's performance.

The Bridgewater College men and women each claimed the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) team title at their respective meets and to do so truly took a total team effort.

The men's and women's teams had different expectations when the season began

The men had made a steady progression toward the top of the ODAC over the past several seasons. With the talent and experience returning from last year's second-place team, a conference title in 2013 would certainly be within the team's grasp.

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Looking Back At Eagles Big Weekend

BRIDGEWATER, Va. - It’s hard to imagine an athletic department having a better weekend than the one just put in the books by the Bridgewater College Eagles. Two conference titles, several huge wins and a myriad of strong performances highlighted the weekend.

When looking at the high points, you have to start with Brian Flynn’s cross country program as the Eagles swept the women’s and men’s Old Dominion Athletic Conferences titles in convincing fashion.

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Morgan Assumes Leadership Role

BRIDGEWATER, Va. - Over the final 10 games of the 2012-13 season, Holly Morgan emerged as one of the Eagles top offensive threats.

With the graduation of leading scorer and ODAC Player of the Year Jessica Mullen, this year's team will look to its senior to carry some of the scoring load during the upcoming season.

Morgan averaged 9.7 points per game a year ago, but over those final 10 games her average increased to more than 13 points per game.

"Shots were just falling and I felt good. We were playing pretty well at the end of the season and we were having fun. When I'm having fun on the court, I usually play a lot better," Morgan said of her late season surge.

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Postseason Picture Becomes Clearer For Fall Sports Teams

BRIDGEWATER, Va. - It's championship week for most of the fall sports with the ODAC tournaments set for this weekend. Seeding for a couple of the tournaments is still up in the air, so let's start with the easy ones.

The men's soccer team completed its season Tuesday with a 2-0 victory over Emory & Henry and are locked into the No. 7 seed in the upcoming tournament. Bridgewater's opponent won't be set until the completion of the regular season on Wednesday.

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Thomas Optimistic As Senior Season Approaches

BRIDGEWATER, Va. - It's hard to believe, but the start of basketball season is just a week away. On Friday, Nov. 1, the Bridgewater College men’s basketball team will tip off its 2013-14 season at High Point University.

Sure, it’s an exhibition game against a Division I program that will be heavily favored. But that doesn’t mean it’s a meaningless game.

For Ronnie Thomas and his fellow seniors it marks the beginning of their final season as a Bridgewater Eagle. It’s their final opportunity to leave their mark on the program.

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Fall Sports Teams Jockey For Playoff Position

BRIDGEWATER, Va. - The days are winding down in the fall sports seasons and several Eagles teams are still jockeying for playoff position.

The field hockey team currently checks in at No. 3 in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) standings.

The Eagles could shake things up this weekend when they travel to Lynchburg College to face the first-place Hornets. A win by Bridgewater would produce a three-way tie at the top of the conference.

Bridgewater has three ODAC games left and if the Eagles win two of three, they will secure the third seed for the ODAC tournament.

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Team Scoring Adds New Dimension For Women Golfers

BRIDGEWATER, Va. - A year ago, golfers Andrea Walker and Marin Warring arrived at Bridgewater College to play on the Eagles’ first women’s golf team.

The two played, and played very well, but they had to wait an entire season before playing on their first “team.”

As freshmen, the Eagles did not have enough golfers to post a team score so Warring and Walker, along with Abby Daniels, played as individuals.

This season that has changed. Now, at the end of the day, the golfers know that not only will there be a score posted beside their names, there will be a score posted beside Bridgewater College.

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Bridgewater Sports Odds & Ends

BRIDGEWATER, Va. - Before we take a look at fall sports action, do you know what today is.?

No, it’s not Hump Day, but it is the first day of basketball practice at the Division III level. Head men’s coach Don Burgess had 24 candidates in the gym for the first day of workouts. Veteran head women’s basketball coach Jean Willi expects 14 players for her first practice Tuesday evening.

Now let’s check in on fall sports action.

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Softball Wraps Up Fall Season This Weekend

BRIDGEWATER, Va. - The Bridgewater softball team will wrap up its fall season this week and there is plenty of uncertainty surrounding this year’s team.

One thing, however, is certain. This will be Donnie Fulk’s final season at the helm of the Eagles softball program. The veteran coach announced earlier this fall his intention to retire at the end of the 2014 season. Fulk realizes the 2014 season will present challenges, but he is excited about the prospects for this year’s team.

“This has been a fun team to coach this fall,” Fulk said. “I’m really looking forward to the spring season.”

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Eagles's Student-Athletes Ranked High In ODAC Stats

BRIDGEWATER, Va. - All of the fall sports teams are now in the midst of conference play with the final push just ahead as they maneuver for spots in the upcoming conference tournaments.

Several of the teams are having solid seasons and many Bridgewater student-athletes rank among the conference’s best in various statistical categories.

Let’s take a quick look at how the fall sports teams are faring to this point.

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Hoops Season Is Just Around The Corner

BRIDGEWATER, Va. - The calendar has flipped to October and there is now a chill in the air during the evening hours.

That can only mean one thing. Basketball season is just around the corner.

Division I programs have already started practice, but Division III coaches are chomping at the bit to get their teams on the court. The start date is less than two weeks away with teams hitting the hardwood on Oct. 15.

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Men's Soccer Off To Solid Start In Conference Play

BRIDGEWATER, Va. - After finishing the 2012 season with a winning overall record, it was important for the men’s soccer team to build upon that success with another good year.

With the non-conference schedule behind them, the team is in process of putting together another solid campaign.

The Eagles navigated the non-conference slate with a 3-3-1 record. All three of the losses were by identical 2-1 scores, including one to Salisbury, ranked sixth in the South Atlantic region. The tie was a 0-0 final against McDaniel, ranked No. 10 in the Mid-Atlantic region.

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Eagles Prepare For Success During Fall Season

BRIDGEWATER, Va. - Just a few months ago, the Bridgewater baseball team was wrapping up one of the best seasons in program history.

The team set a new program record with 34 victories and made the program’s ninth trip to the NCAA playoffs.

Don’t think for a minute that these Eagles have been resting on their laurels.

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Eagles Posted Some Big Numbers This Past Weekend

BRIDGEWATER, Va. - If you like sports, you probably like stats and this past weekend some big numbers were associated with Bridgewater athletics.

It all started on the gridiron where the Eagles put 51 points on the scoreboard in the victory over Ferrum.

Individually, quarterback Willie Logan and receiver Cassidy Burns had career days. Logan threw for a career best 350 yards and Burns had a career day with 11 catches for 193 yards. The 193 yards is the second-best yardage day for a receiver in the ODAC thus far this season.

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Fall Season Important For Women's Lax

BRIDGEWATER, Va. - During the non-traditional fall season the women’s lacrosse team has 16 practice dates spread out over a four-week period.

First-year coach Eagles head coach Danielle Hawkins wishes the fall season was a little longer.

Hawkins was announced as the program’s head coach in early July. The fall season gives the first-year coach a chance to get acquainted with her players on the field.

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Field Hockey Plays First Home Game On Turf This Friday

BRIDGEWATER, Va. - Nearly three weeks after the start of their season, the Bridgewater College Eagles field hockey team will finally make their home debut on the new turf field this Friday when they host Wilson College.

“It’s been road trip after road trip,” Eagles head coach Allyson Kenyon said of the early-season schedule. “It’s going to be great to finally play on the turf field.”

While the Eagles are still waiting for their first game at home, the new turf has already paid dividends, especially during the rainy weather.

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Quality Quarterback Play Could Lead To Exciting ODAC Season

BRIDGEWATER, Va. - Turn on the TV for an NFL game and all of the talking heads will be quick to tell you that the league is now a quarterback-driven league. You want to win a Super Bowl, you better have a quarterback.

The same thing is happening in college football. Just look at the top-ranked teams in the country in Division I. Most, if not all, have an experienced, talented signal caller.

Take a look this year in the ODAC and you will see a similar trend. The teams ranked one through six in the preseason poll have an experienced, talented trigger man.

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Cross Country Runners Focus On Big Picture

BRIDGEWATER, Va. - When the Bridgewater College men’s cross country team placed fifth in the ODAC Preview Meet at Hampden-Sydney, many Eagles fans may have been asking the question, “what happened to those guys?”

Not to worry, it’s all just a part of head coach Brian Flynn’s big picture plan for the program.

“We’re very conservative with our training approach,” Flynn said. “We want to be running our best at the end of the season."

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Turf Field Era Begins Saturday

BRIDGEWATER, Va. - Saturday marks the beginning of a new era at Bridgewater College as the Eagles football team will play on its new synthetic turf field for the first time.

With a team built for speed, the new surface should play to the Eagles’ strength. In the past three seasons the Eagles have played nine times on turf with a 6-3 record in those games.

The old natural grass surface, however, served the Eagles well in recent years.

Beginning with the 2000 season, the Eagles won 81 percent of their games played on the Jopson sod, posting a 56-13 record.

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Women's Soccer Team Ready To Make Another Title Run

BRIDGEWATER, Va. - Under the direction of Bridgewater head coach Mike Van Horn the women’s soccer program has undergone quite a transformation over the past several years.

Several seasons ago, Van Horn’s squad adopted the slogan “Witness the Rising.”

For anyone paying attention in recent seasons, the Eagles have certainly been a program on the move. The Eagles moved from near the bottom of the ODAC, to the middle of the pack and, last year, to the conference championship game.

A year ago, the Eagles could see the mountaintop. The next step is landing on top of the mountain.

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Team Chemistry A Focal Point For Men's Soccer Team

BRIDGEWATER, Va. - For the Bridgewater College men’s soccer team "One Team, One Purpose" is much more than just a catchy little slogan on the front of the practice shirts.

Team chemistry is a focal point for head coach Ryan Bennison and his players and it all started earlier this summer with a trip to Europe.

A total of 19 players and two coaches made the trip with stops in England, Holland, Belgium and Germany dotting the itinerary. The group spent 10 days overseas and was able to mix in three matches against club teams in between traveling and sightseeing.

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Armentrout, Corbin Had Summers To Remember

BRIDGEWATER, Va. - Bridgewater College pitchers Corey Armentrout and Nick Corbin entered the 2013 summer season anxious to see how they would fare when stepping up in competition.

The two earned spots on Valley Baseball League rosters, Armentrout with the Waynesboro Generals and Corbin with the Staunton Braves.

The Valley League is one of the oldest and most prestigious summer leagues in the nation. The 12 teams in the Valley recruit players from across the nation with the majority coming to the league from Division I programs.

Armentrout and Corbin each had a summer to remember.

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After Winning National Title, Rose Looking Ahead To Next Year

BRIDGEWATER, Va. - The third time proved to be the charm for Bridgewater College rider Taylor Rose.

In her third trip to the IHSA National Show, Rose rode to a national title, taking first place in Individual Open Equitation on the Flat.

Rose is the second rider in program history to win a title at the national show and the first to do so in one of the open classes.

Her experience riding in big events coupled with a little luck added up to a national title.

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The 2012-13 Season Was Filled With Success Stories

BRIDGEWATER, Va. - It’s hard to believe another college year is just about in the books.

Tomorrow’s baseball doubleheader against Wesley is the final athletic event on campus until the next fall.

Looking ahead, these are exciting times at Bridgewater College. The turf field project for Jopson Field is set to begin very soon. The renovation and addition to Nininger Hall is also on the docket along with some improvements to the baseball field.

These upgrades will position the Eagles well for continued success in the athletic arena.

While looking ahead to the future brings plenty of excitement, looking back on the 2012-13 year should foster a sense of pride for those involved with the athletic program.

This past year was filled with success stories

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Baseball Still Has Solid Shot Of Claiming NCAA At-Large Bid

BRIDGEWATER, Va. - Despite the disappointment of losing the ODAC baseball championship Monday night to Randolph-Macon, the Bridgewater Eagles must now focus their attention on this week’s doubleheader against Wesley College.

This Saturday’s twinbill not only gives the Eagles a chance to end the regular season on a winning note, but it provides the team with a chance to boost it postseason portfolio.

In the first regional rankings of the year released a week ago, the Eagles were ranked fourth. Looking at the teams the Eagles are competing with for an at-large bid, Bridgewater’s chances still appear solid. Two more regional wins this Saturday would only improve those chances.

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Eagles Head To Penn Relays (Plus ODAC Championship News)

BRIDGEWATER, Va. - Bridgewater distances aces Luke Sohl and Olivia Mills will look to improve on their best times of the current season when they run Thursday at the prestigious Penn Relays.

The Penn Relays, first run in 1895, is the longest uninterrupted collegiate track meet in the nation. Sohl and Mills will take part in the 5000 meters against quality competition in an effort to improve their times and their chances of qualifying for the NCAA Division III National Championship Meet.

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Former Eagle Talks About Boston Marathon Experience

BRIDGEWATER, Va. - Former Bridgewater College student-athlete and coach Amy Rafalxki Hamilton experienced the full gamut of human emotions during her trip earlier this week to run in the Boston Marathon.

Hamilton experienced the satisfaction and excitement of surpassing her goal for the race. She then experienced the terror and heartbreak caused by the bombings that left three dead and more than 170 injured.

“You want to feel good about your performance, but you heart is just breaking for those runners and spectators and the families of who were killed or injured,” Hamilton said.

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Championship Season Just Around The Corner For Spring Sports Teams

BRIDGEWATER, Va. - The spring sports season is winding down and the postseason picture is clearing up for most of the Eagles teams.

The postseason begins this weekend with the ODAC Outdoor Track & Field Championships along with the ODAC Golf Championships.

The track & field champions will be determined Friday and Saturday in Lexington with Washington and Lee serving as the host school.

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Coach Grant Encouraged By First-Year Team's Progress

BRIDGEWATER, Va. - The Bridgewater College men’s lacrosse team has finished its run through the ODAC gauntlet.

The Eagles played four teams receiving national acclaim in four weeks. Hampden-Sydney received votes in this week’s USILA (United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association) Division III Top 20 poll. Washington and Lee was ranked No. 8, Lynchburg was ranked No. 11 and Roanoke checked in at No. 16.

The Eagles played them all in a four-week span and the results were predictable. The combined score in those four contests was 85-10.

Despite the results on the scoreboard, Grant is encouraged by what he sees each day on the field.

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Last Week Was Productive For Spring Sports Teams

BRIDGEWATER, Va. - The past week was a very good one for Bridgewater College athletics.

The baseball team continued to roll against its conference foes. The bats came alive for the softball team. The women’s golf program had its first ODAC Golfer of the Week. And, the riding team qualified two riders for the IHSA National Show.

Let’s start with the baseball team as the Eagles need just one more win to clinch the No. 1 seed for the conference tournament. Coach Kendall’s team pick up five more wins in conference play to improve to 14-0 in conference play.

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Division III Week Shines Spotlight On Student-Athletes

BRIDGEWATER, Va. - Next Week the NCAA will shine the spotlight on its Division III student-athletes as colleges and universities around the nation will celebrate Division III Week.

The week is designed to focus attention on Division III’s unique approach to athletics which equally values academics, athletics and student-athlete involvement in co-curricular and extracurricular activities.

There are a lot of Division III student-athletes doing a myriad of positive things both on and off the playing field. Unfortunately, a lot of people outside the campus community have no idea just how good some of these athletes are.

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Hoops Teams Looking Forward To Next Year

BRIDGEWATER, Va. - It’s Good Friday and the weather today is decent – mostly sunny but still a bit cool for outdoor sports with temperatures struggling to get to the 50 degree mark.

Just one day ago, the Eagles baseball team posted an 11-7 victory over Washington and Lee to stay undefeated in conference play. It was a cloudy, blustery day and it wasn’t cool outside, it was downright cold.

The entire spring sports season has been plagued by lousy weather. It’s been cold, wet and snowy.

The weather has been more suitable for indoor activity and thus, this an opportune time to talk some basketball. After all, it’s still March Madness with the NCAA men’s and women’s tournaments are well underway. It’s still hoops season.

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Time To Take A Look At Spring Sports Action

BRIDGEWATER, Va. - In this week’s corner, let’s take a quick look at each of our spring sports to see how the Eagles’ teams and student-athletes are faring thus far. Considering the less than favorable weather conditions, the teams are performing well when they actually get the chance to play.

Sophomore Luke Sohl turned in another stellar distance run this past Saturday at the Doc Jopson Invitational by winning the 1500 meters with a time of 3:59.21.

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18th Annual Doc Jopson Invitational Set For Saturday

BRIDGEWATER, Va. - This Saturday the Bridgewater track and field program will host its only meet of the season as several state schools will join the Eagles for the annual Dr. Harry G.M. Jopson Invitational.

The annual meet honors the legendary Bridgewater track and cross country coach who passed away a little more than a year ago on March 9, 2012.

Jopson’s legacy is well known throughout the region. He came to Bridgewater in 1936 as a biology professor and a year later revived the dormant track program. In 1938 he introduced cross country to the Bridgewater campus.

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Spring Sports Teams Face Busy Schedules

BRIDGEWATER, Va. - Now that spring break is in the rearview mirror, the next five weeks will be filled with spring sports action.

Some early-season rainouts and snow outs, have overloaded the final five weeks of the baseball season.

Believe it or not, there are just 36 days left before the ODAC baseball tournament begins. The Bridgewater baseball team has 23 games scheduled between now and the start of the ODAC tournament. Now, that’s a lot of baseball.

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Spring Break Coming At Just The Right Time

BRIDGEWATER, Va. - Spring Break could not be coming at a better time for the Bridgewater College spring sports teams.

With several inches of snow covering the outdoor facilities, playing and practice opportunities will be limited on campus for the next several days.

Not to worry, several teams will be heading to warmer climates this weekend in search of better weather and quality competition.

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Softball Has Fared Well Against Nation's Top Strikeout Artists

BRIDGEWATER, Va. - The Bridgewater College softball team opened its home slate this past weekend against McDaniel and fans were treated to a great game in the opener.

The Eagles squared off against Green Terror ace Caroline Brehm, the nation’s strikeout leader in 2012.

A year ago, Brehm led Division III in total strikeouts with 377. Against the Eagles, she was in midseason form as she sent 18 batters back to the dugouts via the strikeout.

The Eagles faced one of the best pitchers in the nation at the top of her game and still managed to find a way to win.

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Hacker's Hot Bat Fuels Eagles' Hot Start

BRIDGEWATER, Va. - Athletes often talk of being “in the zone.”

If you watched Sportscenter last night, Steph Curry of Golden State was in a pretty good zone when he dropped 54 points at Madison Square Garden against the Knicks. Heck, the guy hit 11 of 13 shots from 3-point range.

I’m not sure if Bridgewater senior Andrew Hacker is in the zone, but he’s sure seeing the baseball pretty well. Hacker is hitting .625 after six games and is leading the offense that has helped the Eagles to a 5-1 start.

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Indoor Track Teams Finished Season With Strong Performances

BRIDGEWATER, Va. - The Bridgewater College track and field squads finished the indoor season with impressive performances at the ODAC Championships staged at Liberty University.

The men finished a solid second in the meet behind Lynchburg, trailing 169-125 in the final point standings.

Bridgewater sophomore Luke Sohl continues to cement his position as the premier distance runner in the conference.

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Mullen Bounced Back From Setback With Stellar Season

BRIDGEWATER, Va. - Jessica Mullen was playing at a high level during her junior season. She was averaging 18 points per game and the team was playing well heading into the home stretch of the season. With six games left in the season, the Eagles were 13-6 and had won seven out eight games.

Then Mullen’s season came to a screeching half.

“It was a Tuesday practice and I had to stop because I couldn’t quite catch my breath,” Mullen recalls. “I had this strange feeling in my chest.”

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It's Championship Week!

BRIDGEWATER, Va. - It’s Championship Week

One of the busiest weeks of the season is well underway as the start of spring sports action overlaps with winter sports’ championship week.

The quest for an ODAC title actually began Monday evening with the first round of the women’s conference tournament. Lynchburg, Shenandoah, Randolph-Macon and Washington and Lee picked up wins and advance to Thursday’s quarterfinal round at the Salem Civic Center.

Coach Jean Willi’s team will swing into action Thursday afternoon when the Eagles meet Lynchburg College at 3:00 p.m.

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Swimmers Finish Season In Record-Breaking Fashion

BRIDGEWATER, Va. - Record-setting performances were the norm for the Bridgewater swimmers during the 2012-13 season.

Bridgewater turned in its best performance in program history at the ODAC Championships where the Eagles placed third behind Washington and Lee and Randolph-Macon.

Head coach Fran Smith earned her first ODAC Coach of the Year honor after guiding the Eagles to new heights this season.

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Rose A Model Of Consistency For BC Riding Program

BRIDGEWATER, Va. - Bridgewater College junior rider Taylor Rose has been a model of consistency this season for the Eagles’ equestrian program. Not only has she been consistent, she has been consistently good.

Rose started the fall IHSA season with two superb outings as she was reserve high point rider at both the Randolph and Hollins shows. Competing in the open division, Rose placed first on the flat and fourth over fences at Randolph. At Hollins, she was first on the flat and second over fences. She placed second over fences at the Bridgewater IHSA show and was third over fences and fourth on the flat at the Sweet Briar show.

Rose’s talents came to the forefront in the Tournament of Champions shows where she helped lead the Eagles to the reserve championship position in the team competition.

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Playoff Pitcture Still Muddled As Regular Season Winds Down

BRIDGEWATER, Va. - With just two weeks and four conference games remaining, the playoff possibilities for both the Bridgewater men’s and women’s basketball teams are numerous.

More than likely, several tournament seeding will still be on the line when the men’s and women’s teams enter the final game of regular season play.

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Watching From The Sidelines Is Tough For Thomas

BRIDGEWATER, Va. - Wednesday night marked a first for Bridgewater junior guard Ronnie Thomas.

For the first time in his life, Thomas watched a game from the bench in street clothes, his wrist in a cast, as his teammates battled to a 67-66 double-overtime victory over Washington and Lee.

Needless to say, it’s an experience he did not enjoy.

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Riding Team Showcased Depth At Tournament Of Champions

BRIDGEWATER, Va. - The three show Tournament of Champions series brought some of the top riding programs in the country together for some quality competition this season.

The three-show series provided the Bridgewater riders with the opportunity to showcase their talents against some of the best riders in the nation.

The final show, hosted by the Eagles at the Bridgewater College Equestrian Center, not only showcased the program’s talent, but allowed the team to display the depth of its talent.

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Eagles Top Charts In South/Southeast Region Track Event Rankings

BRIDGEWATER, Va. - When the USTFCCA released its indoor track regional rankings, both the Bridgewater men and women checked in at No. 7 in the South/Southeast Region.

Several Bridgewater student-athletes also cracked the South/Southeast Region individual event ranking released earlier this week.

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Relay Teams Set New Records (Plus Some Other Sports Tidbits)

BRIDGEWATER, Va. - Here are a few BC sports nuggets from the past week.

Let’s start with the indoor track program where the Eagles have turned in some solid early-season performances.

This past week at Susquehanna’s Orange & Maroon Classic, both the men’s and women’s DMR teams set new BC records in the event.

Don’t be concerned if you have no idea what the DMR is. Head track coach Shane Stevens described the event as “the least publicized event in track.” Stevens explained that the DMR is essentially the “distance runner’s relay.”

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Clay Michael Returns To BC As A Member Of Shenandoah Staff

BRIDGEWATER, Va. - On Wednesday evening Clay Michael returned to Nininger Hall, but this time he walked to the court from the visiting locker room when Shenandoah University played the Bridgewater College Eagles.

The former Bridgewater College standout, who works as a consultant in northern Virginia, spends his free time as a volunteer assistant coach on Rob Pryor’s staff at Shenandoah.

Michael graduated from Bridgewater in 2006 with a degree in history and political science. He turned in four solid seasons on the hardwood and finished his career with 1,078 points, one of 32 players in program history to surpass the 1,000 point mark. He was also a stalwart on the boards, pulling down 744 rebounds to rank No. 7 on Bridgewater’s all-time rebounding chart.

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Eagles Hoops On The Upswing

BRIDGEWATER, Va. - There were certainly question marks surrounding both the women's and men's basketball teams early in the season.

The women were off to an uncharacteristic 2-5 start. The men were still searching for that signature victory.

Now both are playing well as they enter the heart of conference play.

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Preparing For Indoor Track Season A Challenge For Coaches, Athletes

BRIDGEWATER, Va. - The Bridgewater College track team is a week away from its first indoor meet of the New Year and like most teams in the ODAC, preparing for the indoor season can be a tough task when you don’t have an indoor track facility.

So far this season, the Eagles have caught a bit of a break with the weather. The early January days have included no precipitation and mild temperatures and this has allowed the Eagles to get some work on the outdoor track.

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Spring Sports Are Just Around The Corner

BRIDGEWATER, Va. - Pitchers and catchers report on Feb. 10. Those are sweet words for any Major League Baseball fan. It’s a sign that baseball season and spring are just around the corner.

Here at Bridgewater College, pitchers and catchers, along with a whole slew of other student-athletes, will report on Jan. 21. That’s when practice season starts for the spring sports of baseball, softball and men’s and women’s lacrosse.

Spring may still be several weeks away, but spring sports are literally right around the corner.

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Boomer's Back And Ahead Of Schedule

BRIDGEWATER, Va. - It’s been almost a year since Bridgewater forward Daniel McClain injured his knee in a non-conference game.

“December 17th.” McClain remembers the date with ease.

The Eagles were off to a 5-2 start a year ago and McClain was a big reason why. The 6-5 forward was averaging 6.2 points and 5.2 rebounds per game. He was coming off back-to-back, double-digit scoring games in the Don Glick Classic before going down just three minutes into the game at Ferrum.

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Student-Athletes Give Back To Community During Holiday Season

BRIDGEWATER, Va. - Our student-athletes fill their days with practice, games and classes. Yet, during the holiday season, they also manage to find time to give back to the community.

Collecting toys and food for the less fortunate, ringing the bell for the Salvation Army, holding a free basketball clinic and producing a Horses' Christmas are just a few some of the activities are student-athletes have done or will be doing this holiday season.

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Trip To National Meet A Building Block For Kubisiak

BRIDGEWATER, Va. - Bridgewater cross country coach Brian Flynn was certain Kaylee Kubisiak was going to be one of his top runners this fall.

“I knew she would be in our top two,” Flynn said. “She’s a very talented runner.”

Kubisiak wasn’t quite so sure.

“I really wasn’t sure how well I would do my first year,” Kubisiak said. “I was hoping to be in our top five. I honestly didn’t expect to do this well. I didn’t have the confidence early in the season that I should have had. The training I put in was the difference. It was an amazing year.”

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ODAC Men's Basketball Promises Tight Conference Race

BRIDGEWATER, Va. - When the ODAC preseason poll was released earlier this year, I feel certain several ODAC coaches were a little puzzled by the predicted order of finish.

Bridgewater’s Don Burgess, Roanoke’s Page Moir and Emory & Henry’s Paul Russo had their teams tied for ninth in the preseason rankings and none expects to finish that low. W&L was picked eight and Lynchburg was seventh. Both may have the talent to be better than that prognosis..

The reality is, however, if someone is going to move up, then someone else is going to have to move down.

Let’s take a look at how the teams are doing thus far along with a brief scouting report on each. The teams are listed in order they were ranked in the preseason.

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Third Time Was A Charm For Bridgewater Cross Country Standout

BRIDGEWATER, Va. - Olivia Mills needed just a little more than 21 minutes to etch her name in the Bridgewater College record book, but the journey to complete the final 21-plus minutes lasted three years.

Mills became the first Bridgewater female cross country runner to earn All-American honors when she finished 26th at the Division III national championship meet with a time of 21:49.3. It was Mills’ third trip to the national meet and the third time proved to be a charm.

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Choosing All-ODAC Quarterbacks Will Be A Tough Call

BRIDGEWATER, Va. - The ODAC football race in 2012 was one of the closest in recent memory. Five teams – Washington and Lee, Randolph-Macon, Hampden-Sydney, Bridgewater and Emory & Henry – finished with overall winning records and Guilford finished at .500. All six of those teams had winning records in the conference.

When you start looking at the statistics, those six teams had one thing in common. Each received solid play throughout the season at the quarterback position.

The stats are so close that there should be some interesting debate when determining the All-ODAC picks at the quarterback position.

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Burgess Likes Opening Season With Exhibition Against Division I Opponent

BRIDGEWATER, Va. - Opening the season with an exhibition game against a Division I opponent has become a yearly ritual for the Bridgewater men’s basketball team under the direction of head coach Don Burgess.

During Burgess’ tenure, the Eagles have played Radford, Coastal Carolina and High Point twice. Tonight the Eagles will travel to Elon, N.C., to meet Southern Conference member Elon University.

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First Year In Coaching A Learning Experience For Charlton

BRIDGEWATER, Va. - After more than a decade of playing football at the highest levels, Ike Charlton came to Bridgewater College for his first season as an assistant coach armed with a vast array of football knowledge.

When Bridgewater head coach Mike Clark told Charlton he needed someone to coach the tight ends, the former Virginia Tech Hokie and NFL defensive back realized that most of his football knowledge didn’t relate to that position.

“I played against tight ends and covered them, but that’s about it,” Charlton said.

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Hurricane Sandy Hit Close To Home For Some Student-Athletes

BRIDGEWATER, Va. - When Hurricane Sandy was barrelling up the Eastern seaboard last week, the weather reports for the Shenandoah Valley were not very encouraging.

High winds, heavy rains and even a blizzard warning were part of the daily forecasts. Power outages were expected.

Luckily, most of the Valley was spared from the wrath of Sandy and for that we can be thankful. Often times, however, we become so isolated in our little personal cocoons that we fail to realize that there are many in the Valley who were indeed impacted by the extreme weather.

More than a handful of our student-athletes here at Bridgewater come from areas ravaged by the storm.

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Beiler Still Pursuing Professional Football Dream

BRIDGEWATER, Va. - Former Bridgewater College All-American Tyler Beiler is still intent on chasing his dream of playing in the NFL.

Even after being released by the Pittsburgh Steelers prior to the start of this season, Beiler is already looking to take the next step in his playing career.

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When Is A Win Not Really A Win?

BRIDGEWATER, Va. - For most coaches, a tie is a little better than a loss, but not by much.

In fact, years ago legendary Michigan State football coach Duffy Daugherty coined the phrase “a tie is like kissing your sister.”

Most sports, including college football, have eliminated ties by going to an overtime system.

Yet, there is one sport where ties are still prevalent. In fact in this sport you can win and still tie.

Confused? Well, you should be because that’s what happened in the quarterfinal women’s soccer game between Bridgewater and Roanoke this past Saturday.

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It's Tournament Time And It's Time To Step Up

BRIDGEWATER, Va. - This Saturday is always one of the busiest and most exciting Saturdays of the fall. It’s tournament time in the ODAC and it’s time to step up.

For the Eagles women’s soccer team, it’s not only time to step up, but time to move forward.

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Riding Team Off To Solid Start (Plus A Playoff Picture Update)

BRIDGEWATER, Va. - Riding is still a relatively new sport here at Bridgewater College, but the program is consistently ranks among the top teams in the region.

The riding program started in 2000 and under the guidance of coach Sarah Irvine the team became a consistent contender in the region along with perennial power Hollins.

Two years ago the program reached a new level when, in Coach Irvine’s final season, the team won the region and zone championships to qualify as a team for the IHSA National Show. In their first appearance at the national event the Eagles finished with a solid fifth-place team effort.

Jerry Schurink then took over as director of the riding program and the Eagles haven’t missed a beat. A year ago, in Schurink’s first season, the Eagles won the region title. If early show results this season are a good indicator, the BC riders are in prime position to defend their region championship.

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Fall Sports Teams Still Battling For Desirable Tournament Seeds

BRIDGEWATER, Va. - The regular season is winding down for the Bridgewater field hockey, volleyball and soccer teams. With just one week of regular season conference play playoff spots and seedings are still up for grabs.

While the final spots will be determined on the playing fields, let’s take a look at where the Eagles stand with the seasons winding down.

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Volleyball Continues Strong Late-Season Push With Two Wins At MIT Quad

BRIDGEWATER, Va. - The Bridgewater volleyball team continued its strong late-season push by winning two out of three matches at the MIT quad.

The quad featured a strong field with MIT, Western New England and Rivier. MIT entered the weekend with a 20-3 record, Western New England was 16-3 and Rivier was 14-6. The Eagles lost a tough match to MIT in three close sets, defeated Western New England in five sets and swept Rivier.

The Eagles have now won seven of their last eight matches to improve to 14-11 on the season with four ODAC contests left on the schedule.

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Summer Trip To Argentina A Blessing For BC's Augsburger

BRIDGEWATER, Va. - During the summer months college students spend the break in a variety of ways. There’s the beach for some, summer school for others. Some spend time with family on vacation while others work to pay the bills.

For Bridgewater College sophomore field hockey player Caroline Augsburger, she decided to spend four weeks on a mission trip with her former high school in Argentina.

The point of destination was Choele Choel, a small town with a listed population of around 10,000.

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Vollleyball Wins Four Straight On Road Trip To Goucher Tournament

BRIDGEWATER, Va. - It’s hard to believe, but hoops season is just around the corner as the first day of official basketball practice, Oct. 15, is less than a week away

We’ll have plenty of more on basketball in the weeks to come, but this week we’ll keep the focus on the fall sports as they enter the homestretch of their respective seasons.

We’ll start today’s Corner with a look back at a strong tournament performance by the Eagles’ volleyball team. The Eagles traveled to Baltimore for the Goucher Invitational and left with a perfect 4-0 record for the weekend. 

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Eagles Bounce Back From Tough Loss With A Win Over Rival EMU

BRIDGEWATER, Va. - - In college sports, it doesn’t get much better than beating your cross-town rival.

The Bridgewater men’s soccer team experienced that high Tuesday evening when the Eagles defeated a quality Eastern Mennonite team, 2-1, in a key conference matchup.

Ryan Bennison was certainly happy with a victory over the rival Royals, but there was another factor even more pleasing to the Eagles second-year head coach.

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Cross Country Teams Look Strong Against Tough Competition

BRIDGEWATER, Va. - The Bridgewater College cross country teams made the long trip to Minnesota to test their skills against some of the top teams in the strong Midwest and Central regions.

The Eagles stood up to the strong competition just fine as the women finished ninth out of 29 teams while the men placed 10th out of 27 teams at the Ray Griak Invitational hosted by the University of Minnesota.

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Men's Lacrosse Team Takes The Field For The First Time

BRIDGEWATER, Va. - The wait is finally over.

On Tuesday, the Bridgewater College men’s lacrosse team took the field for the first time as the Eagles started practice in the non-traditional fall season.

That was the day the players and coaches had been anxiously awaiting since this school year started. Players donned the pads and helmets and took the first steps toward becoming the team that will take the field this spring for the program’s first game.

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Maybe That Hat Trick Isn't So Rare After All

BRIDGEWATER, Va. - Just one week ago I wrote about the rarity of hats tricks in soccer at the collegiate level.

Apparently, women’s soccer player Paxton Sauerwald doesn’t read my weekly ramblings.

Just 10 days after Kevin Gorman scored three goals for the men’s team against Stevenson, Sauerward found the net three times to lead the Eagles to a 6-0 conference victory over Emory & Henry.

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Tough Early Season Schedule Starting To Pay Dividends

BRIDGEWATER, Va. - Bridgewater head volleyball head coach Erin Albert knew the early-season schedule could be tough on her Eagles’ team.

Guess what? She was right as the Eagles started the season with a 2-6 record.

The six teams that defeated the Eagles aren’t too shabby as they have a combined 48-15 record for a .761 winning percentage

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Hat Tricks And More From The Past Week

BRIDGEWATER, Va. - The hat trick in soccer is not an everyday occurrence. 

When Kevin Gorman scored three goals in an 11-minute span late in the game to lift the Eagles to a 3-1 win over Stevenson, it was just the fourth hat trick in program history. The last BC player to turn the trick was Chris Thomas when he scored three goals against Guilford in Oct. 4, 2008.

A look at Gorman's hat trick plus much more from action this past week in this edition of Cox's Corner.

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BC Soccer Teams Off To Impressive Starts

BRIDGEWATER, Va. - The Bridgewater women’s soccer team is piling up the goals and the result is a solid 4-2 start to the season.

The men’s soccer team has won four straight as the Eagles continue to find ways to win the close games.

Both teams are off to a good start this season and both are looking for more as they enter the gauntlet of ODAC competition.

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Some Quick Hits And Remembering 9/11

BRIDGEWATER, Va. - Since there was a good response to my “Quick Hits” column from a week ago, we’ll give it another try this week.

But before we take a look back at the recent week in sports here at BC, let us not forget the significance of this day - Sept. 11. This is the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 tragedy.

It's one of those days you will always remember.

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Teams Use Non-Traditional Season To Prep For Spring

BRIDGEWATER, Va. - The fall sports season is now in full swing, but there are several more teams getting ready for action in the upcoming weeks.

The non-traditional sports season is right around the corner and it’s a time for the spring sports teams – baseball, softball and men’s and women’s lacrosse – to get together for 16 days of practice and workouts. Baseball, softball and women’s lacrosse will begin workouts Sept. 10. Men’s lacrosse will start their fall season on Sept. 25.

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Some Quick Hits From The First Week Of Action

BRIDGEWATER, Va. - Veteran sports editor Jerry Ratcliffe of The Daily Progress in Charlottesville has been writing a column for years called Scattershooting Around the ACC in which he fires off various tidbits about the teams he covers.

That’s the approach I’m going to use today for this edition of Cox’s Corner, starting with the football team’s 23-7 win at St. Vincent.

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Francis Makes The Most Of His College Experience

BRIDGEWATER, Va. - The first week of the college year is a hectic time for all students. Moving into the dorms, buying books, registering for classes and finally going to those classes can sometimes seem overwhelming.

Those that are student-athletes have even more to focus on as the season-openers are just a week away.

For Eagles senior football player Joel Francis the first week also included answering numerous emails as well as preparing a speech for opening convocation. Those duties come along with being student body president, a position Francis assumed at the beginning of the school year.

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Training Takes Eagles Runners To The Front Of The Pack

BRIDGEWATER, Va. - Ask Bridgewater College cross country coach Brian Flynn about training his distance runners and you will quickly realize that he has a definite plan for improving his athletes.

And so far, the plan is working pretty well.

A year ago, the women’s team won the program’s first ever ODAC title and this year they are an overwhelming pick to repeat. The men’s team finished third in the conference a year ago and this season they are seen as the main challenger to perennial conference power Lynchburg.

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Trip To Europe Was More Than A Vacation For Women's Soccer Team

BRIDGEWATER, Va. - The women’s soccer team’s tour to Europe turned out to be quite an experience.

The first leg of the tour took the team to Italy where they saw the Statue of David, the Coliseum, the Vatican and the Sistine Chapel. The team also experienced some fine Italian cuisine and, if you read Morgan Keplinger’s blog, the best gelato on the planet.

Add in a couple of dips in the Mediterranean Sea and that’s quite a trip.

But wait, there was more to come. The team then traveled to England where Buckingham Palace, Tower of London, London’s Eye, St. Paul’s Cathedral and Westminster Abbey dotted the team’s itinerary.

Believe it or not, this trip was more than just a sightseeing vacation for the team.

There was soccer and plenty of it.

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Coaching Interns Provide Boost For Eagles Football Staff

BRIDGEWATER, Va. - Finding creative ways to enhance coaching staffs are often the norm at Division III programs were resources are often taxed to the limit.

For Bridgewater College head football coach Michael Clark, using the NFLPA/NCAA Coaching Internship Program has been a positive platform in recent years for adding personnel and knowledge to the Eagles coaching staff.

The Eagles have taken advantage of the program twice in past seasons with former NFL players Larry Moore and Ben Taylor both serving on the Eagles coaching staff with positive results. Bridgewater must apply for the position each time through the AFCA and the NFLPA. According to Eagles head coach Michael Clark the application is a “competitive process” open to Division II and III teams.

This season the Eagles once again will utilize the program as Ike Charlton will join the staff to coach the tight ends.

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Eagles Take Home Top Awards In RCBL

BRIDGEWATER, Va. - The Rockingham County Baseball League has long served as a landing spot for Bridgewater College players, some looking to refine their skills for the upcoming college season while others simply want to continue playing the game at a competitive level.

This season the Eagles swept the RCBL’s major awards with former BC player Jay Thompson capturing the top honor by being named the league’s Most Valuable Player.

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Eagles Gain Valuable Experience In ACBL

BRIDGEWATER, Va. - Three Bridgewater College players gained valuable experience this summer playing in the Atlantic Collegiate Baseball League.

Senior Matt Maher, junior Tyler Slanovec and sophomore Derrik Walling saw playing time in the ACBL - one of eight summer collegiate leagues partially funded by Major League Baseball.

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Lucas Turns In Solid Summer In The Valley Baseball League

BRIDGEWATER, Va. - The pitching line read five earned runs allowed on three hits in just two-thirds of an inning.

That’s certainly not the way Bridgewater senior Joseph Lucas expected his first outing to unfold this summer in the Valley Baseball League.

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