Softball Shocks #2 Emory 7-6 at UAA Championship Tournament
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Altamonte Springs, Fla., March 14, 2012 – The No. 21 ranked Washington University in St. Louis softball overcame a 4-0 deficit after a half inning of play to post a 7-6 victory over No. 2 ranked Emory University on Wednesday at the 2012 University Athletic Association (UAA) Championship in Altamonte Springs, Fla.
Senior Olivia Cook (4-1) tossed 6 1/3 innings out of the bullpen to pick up the win. Cook allowed five hits and two earned runs, and held Emory scoreless for five-straight innings. Junior Ashley Janssen was 3-for-4 with three runs scored in her return after missing the past four games with an injury. Janssen is hitting a team-best .500 (10-for-20) with a .565 on-base percentage.
Junior Sondra Polonsky (2-for-3) and senior Corissa Santos (2-for-3, RBI) also added two hits in the win for Washington U., its first over Emory since 2010. The Bears had nine hits in the win and did not commit an error for just the second time this season.
“Emory scored four runs early in the game, but I knew our team would hit and we just wanted to chip away at the lead,” said seventh-year head coach Leticia Pineda-Boutté, who picked up her 200th career win at Washington U. on Tuesday. “We learned from yesterday’s loss to Case Western Reserve, and we want to continue to improve offensively and defensively.”
Emory (20-2, 2-1 UAA) struck first with four runs in its first at-bat against sophomore starting pitcher Kelsey Neal. Jessica Thomas drove in the first run of the game with a double to right center with two outs, and then Megan Light came around to score on a wild pitch to make it 2-0. Micah Scharff singled to center scoring Thomas, and then Brooke Healey singled to center off Cook to make it 4-0 before Washington U. came to bat.
Washington U. chipped away at the Emory lead with a run in the first on an RBI single by Santos, and then added a run in the third after Janssen scored when senior Alyssa Abramoski was out stealing second.
The Bears took the lead in the bottom of the fourth inning for good scoring five runs on four hits, and took advantage of one Emory error. Santos doubled to lead off the inning, and was pinch run by freshman Paige Biles. Polonsky singled a 0-2 pitch through the left side moving Biles to third. Sophomore Maggie Mullen walked to load the bases, and then junior Alex Fjeldheim was hit by pitch scoring the first run of the inning.
Freshman Alyssa Wilson grounded out for the second out of the inning tying the game at 4-4, and then Janssen bunted home the go-ahead run. Another run came across the plate after Abramoski reached on an error, and then freshman Adrienne White drove home a run with an infield single to make it 7-4.
Cook was in control for five innings allowing just one hit, a leadoff single by Healey in the fourth. Emory put together a rally in the top of the seventh inning following a leadoff double by Claire Hailey and a pinch-hit homerun by Meaghan Schultz to cut the lead to 7-6. Sophia Tarte singled in the ensuing at-bat, but was called out after not being reinterred into the game. Light and Thomas both reached base with one out, but Cook got the final two outs to escape with a victory.
“Scoring all of those runs I the fourth did not change how I felt on the mound. Being up three runs on a great team like Emory sometime is not enough,” Cook said. “We had a players only meeting yesterday and told ourselves not to feel sorry after the loss to Case. We wanted to mentally prepare ourselves for the next game against Emory.”
Washington University (8-2, 2-1 UAA) returns to action with pair of conference games on Thursday, March 15, against Brandeis University at 10 a.m. (ET) and the University of Rochester at 12:30 p.m. (ET).
Bear Notebook: Emory (3-1) has a half-game lead over Washington U. (2-1) and Brandeis (2-1) in the UAA standings … White extended her team-leading five-game hitting streak with an RBI single in the fourth.