ATLANTA – On the final day of competition at the 3N2 Invitational hosted by Emory University, the Bridgewater Eagles softball team defeated Mississippi College in the opener before dropping the second half of a daily twinbill to 23rd-ranked Emory.
Bridgewater took down Mississippi College by a 5-1 score in the first game of the day before a big inning for Emory in the second game sent the Eagles home with a tough 5-0 loss.
In the opener, both teams were held off of the scoreboard early in the contest before Bridgewater exploded in the fourth inning to take control of the game.
Bridgewater threatened in the first two innings letting pair of runners on base in both innings but the Eagles were held off of the scoreboard as the game remained at a scoreless tie through three complete.
The Choctaws had their best opportunity in the top of the fourth when a two-out double put a runner in scoring position, but starting pitcher Aven Thomas forced a groundout to end the inning and get out of the frame unscathed.
In the bottom of the fourth, Bridgewater exploded for four runs to take a commanding lead. Junior Brea Hinegardner opened the inning with a single to center field before Thomas reached on a fielder's choice to keep a runner on base with one away.
Freshman Karie Burgess followed with a single to put runners at first and second. Senior Leigh Lam drilled a single in the ensuing at-bat to plate Thomas, breaking the early deadlock and handing Bridgewater a 1-0 lead.
Junior Kasey Anderson kept the rally going with a single to load the bases before a sacrifice fly from the bat of senior Sarah Goodman drove in Burgess to give the Eagles some insurance and a 2-0 lead.
Freshman Brooke Throckmorton rounded out the scoring in the inning with a double, plating Anderson and Lam to put the Eagles in front 4-0.
Both teams went down without a run in the fifth but the Choctaws would put a run on the board in the sixth to trim the Bridgewater lead to 4-1.
In the bottom of the frame, the Eagles answered with another run to build their lead back up to four runs, 5-1, after six innings of action. Anderson drilled a one-out single and proceeded to swipe second base to put a runner in scoring position with two away. Throckmorton pushed home Anderson with a single to center to put the Eagles up 5-1.
Mississippi threatened again in the seventh as a pair of Bridgewater errors allowed the Choctaws to have a pair of runners on base in the frame. Freshman Brianna Cox came into the contest and recorded the final two outs of the game to wrap up a 5-1 victory for the Eagles.
Throckmorton paced the way for the Eagles with a 3-for-4 outing. The freshman drove in three runs on the afternoon to lead a Bridgewater offense that pounded out 13 hits.
Thomas recorded her first victory of the season after tossing 6.1 innings of work. The senior allowed just one run on four hits and struck out one in the win.
Four Choctaws recorded a hit each to lead the way for the Mississippi College offense.
Freshman Katie Steele picked up the loss for the Choctaws after allowing four runs on 10 hits through 3.2 innings.
In the nightcap, the Eagles and Emory locked up a classic pitcher's duel early in the contest before a Bridgewater miscue allowed the host Eagles to open up a sizeable lead.
Over the opening three innings of play, Bridgewater starter Heather Jenkins and Emory hurler Amanda Kardys battled back and forth in a quick moving game. Jenkins held Emory hitless through three innings while the Eagles had an opportunity to take the lead in the top of the fourth.
Lamb singled to left field with one out before Jenkins followed with a single, but Lamb was thrown out by the center fielder at second base on a close play as Kardys worked her way out of the jam unscathed.
Emory belted a two-out double in the fourth as they finally got a hit off of Jenkins in the inning, but the senior retired the next two batters in order to keep the game at a scoreless deadlock through four complete.
Bridgewater went down in order in the fifth before Emory tallied five runs in the bottom of the inning to take a commanding lead after five. Emory opened the inning with back-to-back singles before a fielder's choice loaded the bases with no outs. Junior Claire Bailey put Emory on the board with a two-RBI single before a Lauren Gorodetsky single loaded the bases with one away. Emory tacked three more runs on the board off of an error on Burgess at shortstop which allowed two runs to score to extend the lead to 5-0.
Jenkins eventually worked her way out of the jam as Emory maintained a 5-0 lead through the fifth inning.
The Eagles looked to respond in a hurry in the top of the sixth. Anderson singled to open the inning and advanced to third on a Lamb single later in the frame but Bridgewater left runners on the corners as the game stayed at a 5-0 Emory lead.
Jenkins worked her way out of a bases loaded jam in the bottom of the sixth and the Eagles offense had no answer in the top of the seventh as Bridgewater fell by a 5-0 score in the second game.
Lamb led the Bridgewater offense with two hits on the afternoon as the Eagles pounded out six hits against Emory.
Jenkins picked up the loss allowing five runs on 10 hits in six innings of action.
Emory was led offensively by four players with two hits each.
Kardys picked up the win tossing a six-hit shutout.
Bridgewater is back in action on Sunday when it hosts McDaniel. Start time against the Green Terror is set for 1:30 p.m.