BRIDGEWATER, Va. – Junior Melanie Lamb drove in the winning run with the bases loaded in the ninth inning of game one to hand the 19th-ranked Bridgewater Eagles softball team a 2-1 victory, but the Eagles couldn't get enough offense in game two as they settled for a split in a conference twinbill with visiting Randolph-Macon.
Junior Heather Jenkins and Yellow Jackets hurler Heather Lewis locked up in a pitcher's duel in game one as the two pitchers shut down both offenses over the first three innings before the Eagles stuck a run on the board in the fourth.
Lamb singled to open the inning and was replaced on the bases by junior Sarah Goodman. Jenkins followed the Lamb single with one of her own, as the junior put runners on first and second with no outs on an infield bunt.
Following a Heretick fielder's choice which kept runners at first and second, a Leigh Lam double to left center pushed across Jenkins to put Bridgewater ahead by a 1-0 score.
Randolph-Macon looked to respond when it led off the fifth with a double, but Jenkins worked her way out of the mini-jam to keep the Eagles ahead 1-0.
Bridgewater went down in order in the fifth before the Yellow Jackets knotted the game up at a run each with a two-hit sixth.
Both teams went down without a run in the seventh to push the game to extra innings.
Randolph-Macon led off the eighth with a sacrifice bunt to push Paige Wernig, the placed runner due to the international tiebreak rule, to third base.
Wernig was tossed out at home on a fielder's choice during the next at-bat before Lewis grounded back to Jenkins to end the top of the eighth, handing the Eagles an opportunity to end the game in the bottom of the frame.
Lamb sacrificed junior Aven Thomas to third base to lead off the inning before the Yellow Jackets elected to load the bases with one away with back-to-back walks of Jenkins and Heretick.
The decision paid off for Randolph-Macon in the eighth when a fielder's choice and a strikeout ended the inning, pushing things to the ninth.
In the top of the ninth, Jenkins walked the leadoff batter to set up a force play at third.
Yellow Jacket Laura Bauer drove a pitch to right field but didn't advance a runner before Courtney Gilbertson grounded into 5-3 double play to end the inning, handing Bridgewater another shot at the win in the bottom of the ninth.
Junior Morgan Williams sacrificed senior Ann Komara to third to lead off the ninth, before the Yellow Jackets again elected to walk the bases loaded, walking senior Hillary Rees and sophomore Kasey Anderson with one away.
Thomas popped up to put two away before Lamb took a 2-1 pitch and drove it back up the middle, driving in Komara to end the game, handing the Eagles a hard-fought 2-1 win.
Lamb and Jenkins each posted two-hit efforts in the opener to pace a Bridgewater offense which stranded 14 runners in the game.
Jenkins was stellar in the circle, allowing one run on four hits while striking out four to earn the win.
Yellow Jacket centerfielder Lauryn Nanny paced the Randolph-Macon bats with a 2-for-2 effort.
Lewis picked up the loss, allowing two runs on eight hits in 8.2 innings of action.
Randolph-Macon quickly matched its game-one scoring total in the nightcap with a pair of runs in the top of the first.
Nanny led off the game with a walk and was driven in a batter later when Lewis drilled a pitch over the left field fence to put the Yellow Jackets up by a 2-0 score.
Bridgewater responded with a two-run inning of its own to knot the game up at a two runs each after a frame.
Following a groundout to open the inning, Anderson drew a walk and swiped second to put a runner in scoring position for the Eagles with one out. The stolen base for Anderson was her Division III-leading 39th of season.
Two batters later, Anderson was pushed home when Lamb stroked a pitch to centerfield where the ball caromed off the top of the fence and went over to tie the game up at two runs each. With the hit, Lamb extended her on-base streak to 23 consecutive games.
Both teams went down without a run in the second and third before the Yellow Jackets took the lead for good with a two-run fourth.
Gilbertson led off the inning with a walk and was pushed home during the ensuing at-bat when Michalann Camp doubled to centerfield, pushing the Yellow Jackets ahead 3-2.
Camp was pushed to third on a sacrifice bunt and was then driven in on a fielder's choice to extend the Randolph-Macon lead to 4-2.
After a scoreless fifth, Bridgewater responded with a single run in the sixth to chip the lead in half at a 4-3 tally.
Lamb followed a line out with a double to left center and was replaced on the bases by Goodman. Jenkins followed the Lamb double with one of her own, driving in Goodman to cut the lead to 4-3 after six complete.
Randoph-Macon looked to pad its lead in the top of the seventh with a pair of hits, but Thomas slammed the door, holding the Yellow Jackets off of the scoreboard to keep Bridgewater within striking distance.
Lewis, the game one starter, went back to the circle for Randolph-Macon in the seventh and put the Eagles down in order to earn the save and hand Bridgewater a 4-3 loss.
Lamb and Jenkins each paced the bats with two-hit games, with Lamb driving in a pair of runs and Jenkins posting an RBI.
Thomas picked up the loss, allowing four runs on seven hits while fanning four.
Lewis paced the Yellow Jacket bats in the nightcap with a 3-for-4 effort and two RBI.
Kristen Dize earned the win, allowing three runs on five hits across six innings of work. Lewis tossed the final inning of no-hit ball to pick up the save.
Bridgewater is back in action on Wednesday afternoon when they tangle with conference-leading Virginia Wesleyan in the regular season finale at the BC Softball Field. First pitch against the Marlins is set for 3 p.m.