Salem, Va. – Jessica Blosser hit a game-tying single and scored the go-ahead run in the fifth inning of Eastern Mennonite University’s 3-2 win over Guilford College in the first round of the Old Dominion Athletic Conference Tournament at the Moyer Sports Complex. The third-seeded Royals (29-11) advanced to play second-seeded Virginia Wesleyan College later Friday night. The Quakers (20-20-1) face number-four Roanoke College Saturday at noon in the first elimination game of the six-team, double-elimination tournament.
Guilford, making its first ODAC Tournament appearance since 2003, grabbed a 2-0 first-inning lead with two runs off of Royals’ starter Nicole Wade (12-1). Samantha Golley and Taryn Pulvermuller delivered back-to-back two-out singles that scored Amber Stapler and Kelly Hale, respectively.
Eastern Mennonite got on the board in the bottom of the third inning when Brittany Caricofe doubled down the left-field line to score Wade, who was pinch-running for designated player Dana Hall. Hall opened the frame with a single.
Guilford pitcher DeNina Eldridge (8-12) retired the side in the fourth inning, but Eastern Mennonite struck twice in the fifth after Hall reached on the first of two Ami Hutcherson errors in the inning. Wade again ran for Hall and took second on Mandee Madden’s sacrifice. She scored on Blosser’s single up the middle. Caricofe followed with a fly ball out to center fielder Kelly Guarnieri, but Blosser took third on Guarnieri’s throwing error on the play. Nicole Shelton delivered another ball hit to Hutcherson at third, which the rookie misplayed, allowing Blosser to score the go-ahead run.
After yielding two runs on three hits in the first inning, Wade found her rhythm. She gave up leadoff singles in the third and fifth innings, plus a one-out single to Hutcherson in the seventh, but never allowed Guilford to threaten. Wade retired 14 of the final 16 Guilford batters and recorded five strikeouts.
Caricofe’s two hits paced Eastern Mennonite. Guilford’s Amber Stapler had two hits for the Quakers.
Eastern Mennonite 3, Guilford 2 (Apr 25, 2008 at Salem, Va.)
Guilford………… 200 000 0 – 2 7 3 (20-20-1)
Eastern Mennonite… 001 020 X – 3 5 0 (29-11)
Pitchers: Guilford – DeNina Eldridge. Eastern Mennonite – Nicole Wade.
Win-Nicole Wade(12-1) Loss-DeNina Eldridge(8-12) T-1:27 A-104
Game notes: Third-seeded EMU got an RBI single from Jessica Blosser and scored 2 unearned runs off of 3 GC errors in the 5th to rally and win this opening-round game of the Old Dominion Athletic Conference Tournament. Nicole Wade retired 14 of the last 16 batters after yielding 2 1st-inning runs.