FOREST, Va. – Junior Aven Thomas was stellar and the Bridgewater Eagles softball team got timely hits when it needed them as the Eagles held on to pick up a 5-3 victory over Lynchburg College in the opening game of the 2012 Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) softball tournament.
After a scoreless first the fifth-seeded Eagles got on the board in the second with a pair of runs to take an early lead.
In the top of the second, junior Heather Jenkins earned a one-out walk to put a runner on before a strikeout put two away in the frame.
Junior Leigh Lam followed the strikeout with a missile over the left-field fence to hand the Eagles a 2-0 lead after one-and-a-half.
Thomas held the Hornets hitless through three complete while Bridgewater added a run in the third to take a 3-0 lead after four innings of play.
Senior Sarah Heretick opened the inning with a single to center and advanced to second on a groundout with one-away.
With two down in the inning, Thomas helped her own caused with a single to center field, plating Heretick from second to build Bridgewater's lead to 3-0. Thomas was thrown out on the play at second base after Heretick crossed the plate.
Thomas remained lights out through the fifth and picked some extra run support as the Eagles used a two-run sixth to extend its lead to 5-0.
Senior Hillary Rees and sophomore Kasey Anderson reached on a pair of errors, with Rees scoring on an error by the third baseman to push the Bridgewater lead to 4-0. Anderson advanced to third on the play.
Heretick pushed in Anderson with a groundout during the ensuing at-bat to build the Bridgewater lead to 5-0 after six complete.
The score remained the same until the bottom of the seventh when Lynchburg made it game late.
An error allowed the leadoff runner for the Hornets to reach before a groundout put a runner at second base with one out.
Lynchburg's Sarah Smith singled to right field during the ensuing at-bat, pushing a run across to chip the Eagles' lead to 5-1. Brooke Sigrist followed the Smith single with one of her one to put a pair of runners on with one away.
Smith and Sigrist both went to third on a wild pitch before the leadoff hitter Jessi Hall drew her fourth walk of the day to load the bases.
Following the walk, Thomas was relieved by Jenkins with one down in the seventh.
Lynchburg stuck another run on the board when a grounder caromed off of first base and the throw was bobbled to keep the bases loaded while Smith scored to cut the Bridgewater lead to 5-2.
Catcher Megan Fredenberg drove in the final run on a fielder's choice before Jenkins forced a pop out for the final out of the game to close out a 5-3 Bridgewater win.
Three Eagles hitters each tallied a hit each, with Lam's two-run homer leading the way.
Thomas picked up the win in the circle, allowing three runs on five hits across 6.1 innings of action. All three runs against Thomas were unearned. Jenkins earned the two-out save, allowing no hits during her brief outing.
A trio of Hornets paced the Lynchburg bats with a hit each, while starting pitcher Hope Johnson earned the loss in the circle. Johnson allowed all five Bridgewater runs on three hits and fanned four.
Bridgewater now advances to meet top-seeded Virginia Wesleyan this evening on Field No. 1 of the James I. Moyer Complex. First pitch against the Marlins is set for 6 p.m.