Bridgewater hands Virginia Wesleyan first loss in ODAC tourney
SALEM, Va. -- Virginia Wesleyan College's softball Marlins moved within one out of sending Friday's second round Old Dominion Athletic Conference tournament with Bridgewater College into extra innings.
But, with the score knotted at four runs for each team, Heather Jenkins took the hero role for Bridgewater as she belted a three-run homer to left center field to lift the fifth-seeded Eagles (32-10) to a 7-4 victory.
VWC (28-11), the defending ODAC champion and No. 1 seed in the tournament, drops into the losers bracket and will play Saturday, April 28, at 11 a.m. against Randolph-Macon College (29-13). The Yellow Jackets were the only league team to top the Marlins in regular season play, taking a 3-2 decision in Ashland.
Virginia Wesleyan out-hit Bridgewater 8-7, led by Tori Higginbotham's three hits, but the Marlins also struggled through a sloppy defensive effort, recording five errors that helped keep the Eagles alive.
VWC led 2-1 in the top of the third after Higginbotham tripled and scored on a bunt by Kelly Keys. But, Bridgewater came right back in the bottom of the inning to score two runs, helped by three VWC errors, to jump back out in front.
The Eagles combined another VWC error and a single to help score a run in the bottom of the sixth to move into a 4-2 lead. But, VWC came back in the top of the seventh to tie the score with two runs off two hits, a wild pitch and an Eagle error.
Bridgewater led off the bottom of the seventh with back-to-back singles, but Virginia Wesleyan responded with consecutive outs. Jenkins stepped up to the plate next and ended the game.
Senior Jaclyn Quinn connected for two hits for the Marlins and Sarah Heretick led BC with two hits.
Sophomore MacKenzie Creech pitched for VWC and struck out six batters. She walked two. Jenkins pitched for Bridgewater and walked two. She did not strike out any Marlins.