SALEM, Va. – Second-seeded Roanoke College put three runs on the board and added four more runs over the final innings of play as the Bridgewater Eagles softball team didn't have enough firepower to overcome to early Maroons onslaught in a 7-2 loss in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) softball tournament title game.
In the top of the first, the Eagles put a pair of runners on with two away but couldn't push a run across to keep the game scoreless after half of an inning of play.
Roanoke responded in the bottom of the frame with three runs off of starting pitcher Aven Thomas before junior Heather Jenkins came in to slam the door, keeping the early deficit at 3-0 after an inning of action. Jenkins retired the final three batters of the inning on a strikeout, pop up and a groundout.
The Eagles went down in order in the second and the Maroons were held in check in the bottom of the frame to keep the score at a 3-0 Maroons advantage.
After back-to-back outs to open the third, sophomore Kasey Anderson singled through the left side and was pushed to second on a fielding error during the at-bat of senior Sarah Heretick to put a pair of two-out base runners on for the Eagles.
Junior Melanie Lamb pushed in Anderson during the ensuing at-bat to chip the Maroons tally to 3-1.
Roanoke answered in the bottom of the third when pitcher Kelly Higbie dropped a perfect placed bunt, scoring Stephanie Clark from third to extend the Maroons' lead back to three at a 4-1 tally.
In the fourth, the Eagles went down in order to hold the Roanoke lead at 4-1 but the Maroons offense stuck two more runs on the board in the bottom of the inning to take a 6-1 lead into the fifth.
Bridgewater got another run on the board in the top of the fifth when Heretick drove a single to second base, pushing in senior Hillary Rees to chip the Roanoke lead to 6-2.
Roanoke added a single run in the bottom of the sixth and Higbie put the Eagles down in order in the seventh, ending the Eagles hopes for the program's first ODAC crown with a 7-2 loss.
Anderson paced the Eagles offense with a 2-for-3 effort at the plate and scored a run.
Thomas picked up the loss, allowing three runs on five hits while not recording an out. Jenkins tossed the final six innings of action, allowing four runs on eight Roanoke hits.
Clark paced the Maroons offense with a 3-for-4 outing, two RBI and two runs scored.
In the circle, Higbie won her 24th game of the season after allowing two Eagles runs on five hits in the complete-game effort. Higbie was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player after pitching the Maroons to three victories on the weekend.
Anderson and Heretick were each named to the All-Tournament team as well. The sophomore speedster went 7-for-16 at the plate during the tournament while Heretick was 5-for-14 with three runs scored and three RBI.
Bridgewater wraps up tournament play with a 33-11 overall record and now awaits the announcement of the 2012 NCAA Regional Selections on Sunday, May 6.