Roanoke edges by No. 1 Emory
Maroons beat top-ranked program for first time with 4-2 victory
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – Roanoke defeated No. 1 Emory 4-2 in its second game of the Newport News Regional on Friday. The Maroons, winners of nine consecutive games, improve to 31-9 while the Eagles fall to 34-4. The win marks the first time a woman's program at Roanoke knocked off the top-ranked team in the country.
The last two times that Roanoke and Emory met were in the regional portion of the 2006 Division III Softball Championship, as the Eagles took both games. The Maroons are now 6-8 against the Eagles, including a 4-4 mark in the NCAA tournament.
The Eagles found themselves in the driver's seat early as Micah Scharff reached base on an error, followed by a single from Lauren Gorodetsky. A few batters later, Jessica Boni hit a single up the middle that scored Scharff and Gorodetsky for a 2-0 lead in the top of the first.
It wasn't until the bottom of the fourth that Roanoke started got rolling as Hollee Warlitner and Stephanie Clark led off the inning with singles, putting runners at first and second. After an Emory pitching change, Caitlin Manuel avoided a tag on the first base line to load the bases before the Eagles' Lena Brottman struck out the next three Roanoke batters to keep Emory's 2-0 lead intact.
The Maroons caught fire once more in the bottom of the fifth.
Leona Rainey reached first after being hit by a pitch before Alea Bier followed suit by reaching base with an infield hit. Warlitner then knocked a first pitch two-bagger, scoring Rainey and Bier, tying the game at 2-2. Roanoke took its first lead of the game when Stephanie Clark drove a ball to left field, scoring Warltner from second. With two outs, Felice Lowery doubled to left, plating Clark to take the 4-2 lead.
That score would hold as the final, as the Maroons tallied the last six outs during the next seven batters to clinch the victory.
Warlitner led the Maroons going 2 for 3 with two RBI and one run scored. Clark also had two hits, an RBI and a run. Higbie (26-8) pitched her school-record 31st complete game, giving up two runs off four hits. She also struck out four on the afternoon as she broke the ODAC-record for victories in a single-season. Her 26 wins are third in the country while her 122 strikeouts this season are the third-most at RC. Her 38th appearance broke the school single-season record.
Boni led the eagles with two hits and two RBI. Scharff and Gorodetsky had one run and one hit each.