Fifth-Seeded Eagles Set for Tournament Opener with Lynchburg
SALEM, Va. – After finishing the season with a 1-3 record in its last four outings, the Bridgewater Eagles softball team enters this weekend's Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) tournament with a clean slate as the fifth-seed.
Bridgewater opens tournament play on Friday at noon at the James I. Moyer Complex against the familiar foe in the Hornets of Lynchburg College. Lynchburg earned the No. 4 seed for this weekend's conference tournament.
Earlier in the season, the Eagles split with the Hornets at Lynchburg's Aubrey Moon Field. In game one, Bridgewater owned a lead heading to the seventh before a walk-off homerun from the bat of Amber Sulter handed the Eagles a 3-2 loss. Bridgewater stormed back in the nightcap to claim a 5-1 victory to earn the split with the perennial power Hornets.
Bridgewater rolled out to a 16-1 start to the regular season but have posted a 14-9 record down the stretch run, including a 12-6 record in ODAC play.
During the final 10 games of the season, the Bridgewater bats have been hit and miss as the team's hit at a .270 clip with junior Melanie Lamb pacing the way. Lamb's 11-of-26 at the plate during the last ten games with a .423 batting average, two homers and seven RBI. Alongside Lamb, junior Aven Thomas has also been exceptional with 12 RBI and a pair of home runs.
The Bridgewater offense has also been aided during the season by sophomore Kasey Anderson. Anderson leads the Eagles with 54 hits on the season and the most stolen bases in Division III with 40.
In the circle, junior Heather Jenkins has split her four appearances during the last 10 games and owns a 1.87 ERA during the final two weeks of the season. On the year, Jenkins leads the staff with a 1.26 ERA and seven shutouts, with her ERA being the second-best in the league. The junior hurler also has the second-most wins in the conference with 15.
For the Hornets, the 2012 season has been one of ups and downs as they rolled to a 21-17 overall record and a 12-6 mark in conference play to earn the fourth seed. Lynchburg claimed the fourth seed due to the conference tiebreak procedure.
At the plate, the Hornets are paced by the performance of outfielder Melanie Tenney. Tenney leads the Hornets with a .375 average. Her 15 walks and 36 hits also pace a Hornets offense which has hit at a .288 clip on the year – the third lowest average in the league.
In the circle, Kaitlyn Morris leads a Lynchburg pitching staff that's surrendered 17 homeruns on the year. Morris owns a 9-7 record in 20 appearances and has rolled up a 2.94 ERA.
Bridgewater owns an 8-6 record against the eight-team field, including sweeps over Emory & Henry and Randolph. Virginia Wesleyan is the lone team in the tournament to earn a sweep over the Eagles during the regular season.
The winner of Friday afternoon's game will go on to play the winner of the noon game putting top-seeded Virginia Wesleyan against eighth-seeded Emory & Henry, while the losers will also play later in the evening. The elimination game is set for 4 p.m. start, with the winner's bracket contest being set to begin at 6 p.m.