College Softball Finals – Roanoke 5-6, Guilford 4-2

GREENSBORO, N.C. – Roanoke College rookie Ruthie Williams retired the final 20 Guilford batters she faced in Tuesday’s 6-2 Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) softball win at Guilford’s Haworth Field. Classmate Becca Wenger’s two-run, seventh-inning home run in the opener gave the visiting Maroons a 5-4 win and a sweep of the league twinbill.

Williams (6-2) overcame a sluggish start that saw Guilford advance runners to second and third on two infield singles followed by a sacrifice bunt. Rachel Howard’s single up the middle scored the opening run. Guilford took a 2-0 lead a batter later when Caroline Burnette scored on Marty Wilcox’s tailing line drive off of second baseman Taylor Sutherland’s foot. Williams sat down the next 20 consecutive Quakers with two strikeouts, no walks and just four balls hit out of the infield.

The Maroons tallied three runs in the second inning, two on Rachel Guilliams’ bases-loaded single. Guilliams plated another marker in the fourth with a sacrifice fly and scored her team’s fifth run in the sixth on a Hannah McDaniel hit. Guilliams, Williams and Rhea Schleicher, Roanoke’s sixth, seventh and ninth batters, each had two hits and combined to score four runs.

Roanoke (18-12, 13-5 ODAC) rallied for the opening-game win thanks to Wenger’s fourth home run of the season, a two-run shot off a seventh-inning, two-strike offering by reliever Maggie Shaffer (6-4). The Quakers (23-15, 11-9 ODAC) took their first lead in the prior inning with a two unearned runs scored with two outs.

Maroons’ starter Kelly Higbie (11-10) retired the heart of the Quakers’ lineup in the seventh for her 14th complete game of the season. She fanned four, walked two and yielded two earned runs in the victory. Wenger also doubled and had two hits for Roanoke’s offense. Schleicher and Taylor Carter also had two hits.

Shelby Helms and Casey Snead had two hits apiece for Guilford. Snead threw the first five innings for Guilford and gave up three runs, one of which was earned.

Coach Dennis Shores’ Quakers await pairings for this weekend’s ODAC Softball Tournament, which begins Friday (4/24) at 12 noon in Salem, Virginia, at the Moyer Sports Complex.