BRIDGEWATER, Va. – Conference-leading Virginia Wesleyan (27-10, 17-1 ODAC) held the 23rd-ranked Bridgewater Eagles softball team to just five hits on the afternoon and used two homeruns to sweep the Eagles on Wednesday afternoon in Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) action at the BC Softball Field.
Bridgewater (30-10, 12-6) dropped the opener by a 5-0 score before falling by a 7-1 tally in the nightcap.
In similar fashion to Tuesday's matchup with Randolph-Macon, the first three innings of game number one saw junior Heather Jenkins and Marlins hurler MacKenzie Creech lock up in a classic pitcher's duel as the two teams stayed hitless through three innings of play.
Virginia Wesleyan got on the board in the third when a pair of Eagles miscues proved costly, handing the Marlins a 3-0 advantage. Bridgewater committed two errors in the infield, while the Marlins used two timely hits in the frame to open up a thre- run lead after three-and-a-half innings.
In the bottom of the stanza, junior Aven Thomas got Bridgewater's lone hit of the game, but the Eagles couldn't push a run across as they trailed the Marlins by a 3-0 score after four complete.
Both teams went down without a run in the fifth and sixth before a Tori Higginbotham two-run blast to right field in the seventh finalized the scoring, handing the Eagles a 5-0 loss.
Thomas got the lone hit for the Eagles in the opener, while Bridgewater was limited to just five base runners in the contest.
Jenkins picked up the loss in the circle, allowing five runs, two of which were earned, on four hits.
Kelly Keys and Higginbotham paced the Virginia Wesleyan bats with Keys posting a 2-for-4 effort and Higginbotham leading the way with two RBI.
Creech earned the win, allowing just one hit in a complete-game effort.
In game two, the Eagles struck first with a run in the bottom of the inning to take an early lead.
Senior Hillary Rees reached on an error to lead off the inning before the Marlins walked the sacks full with two away.
Thomas worked the count to 3-1 during the ensuing at-bat before drawing a bases-loaded walk to drive in Rees from third, giving the Eagles a 1-0 lead after one complete.
After a scoreless second, Virginia Wesleyan responded with two runs in the top of the third to take the lead for good.
The Marlins opened the inning with a pair of outs before Jaclyn Quinn drew a walk to put a runner on with two away. Starting pitcher Kristina Karagiorgis singled up the middle to put Quinn in scoring position and Brianna Bertovich followed with a double to left center, scoring Quinn and Karagiorgis to put Virginia Wesleyan up 2-1.
Both teams went down scoreless in the fourth and the Marlins were put away without a run in the fifth before the Eagles looked to knot the game up in the bottom of the inning.
Sophomore Kasey Anderson led off the inning with a single and swiped second to put a runner in scoring position with no outs. Senior Sarah Heretick sacrificed Anderson to third to put the game-tying run 60 feet from home plate.
Junior Melanie Lamb was hit by a pitch during the ensuing at-bat to put runners on the corners with one away.
The Eagles setup the squeeze play, but the bunt went in the air, allowing the throw to home to be in time to retire Anderson. Bridgewater ended the inning with a lineout to allow the Marlins to get out of the jam.
Virginia Wesleyan added an insurance run in the sixth and stuck four runs on the board in the seventh, two off of a Karagiorgis homer, to end the game, ending Bridgewater's regular season with a 7-1 loss.
Rees paced the bats in game two with a 2-for-4 effort and a run scored.
Thomas picked up the loss in the circle, allowing seven runs on nine hits.
Karagiorgis paced the Marlins' bats in the nightcap with a 2-for-4 effort, two runs scored and two RBI. The freshman also earned the win in the circle, allowing one unearned run on four hits while fanning seven.
Bridgewater now awaits the announcement of the seedings for the upcoming conference tournament which opens play on Friday at the James I. Moyer Complex in Salem, Va.