By Tyler Hofmann-Reardon
On Tuesday afternoon, Roanoke’s softball team squared off against undefeated, ODAC leading, Emory & Henry in a doubleheader that would end with the teams splitting the series 1-1. Roanoke entered the matchup with an overall record of 6-8 (1-1 in ODAC play), while the Wasps entered with an overall record of 10-0 (2-0 in ODAC play).
The Maroons absolutely dominated in the first game. The team bounded out of the gate early, putting up four runs in the first inning thanks to a two RBI double by Katie Smith and RBIs from Kelly Higbie and Rachel Guilliams. After their explosive first inning, the Maroons tacked on another run in the second after Higbie reached on an error to bring Smith home. In the third inning, Higbie smacked a single to left center to bring around Taylor Sutherland and Taylor Carter. Then, Marleigh Hall stepped up to the plate and crushed a ball over the fence for her second three-run home run in two games, giving the Maroons a 10-0 lead after just three innings. In the fourth, Taylor Carter blasted a solo home run and Rea Schleicher hit a line-drive single to score the Maroons 12th run of the game.
While the Maroons seemed unstoppable at the plate, pitcher Kelly Higbie almost completely silenced the Wasp’s bats. Pitching a complete, five inning, game, Higbie completed a shutout, giving up only two hits and striking out six batters. With her impressive display from the mound and the continuous stream of runs, the Maroons easily handed the Wasps their first loss of the season 12-0 and Higbie notched her fourth win. The loss snapped Emory & Henry’s 10-game win streak.
The Maroons were led at the plate by Sutherland, who managed a perfect 4-4 with two runs scored as well. Carter contributed three hits, including a solo home run, while Higbie and Hall each contributed three RBIs.
The next game was a much closer affair. After an incredible 12-run game, the Maroons struggled to get their bats going, scoring zero runs in the first three innings. Thankfully, the Maroons held off the Wasps for the first three innings as well, so the score remained in a 0-0 lock. However, the Wasps managed to tack on two runs in the fourth inning. Rea Schleicher came right back with a solo home run in the fifth inning, but that proved to be the Maroons only run of the game, and they fell 2-1.
Higbie was given the loss even though she only allowed two runs and seven hits in 3.2 innings pitched. The Maroons were led at the plate by Scheicher, who tallied the Maroons’ only run with her solo shot. Baldwin, Smith, Guilliams, and Carter were the only other Maroons to record a hit, and each only managed one.
Despite their tough loss in the second game, the Maroons won a major victory against one of the top teams in the league on Tuesday. Snapping a team’s 10-game win streak is no easy feat, and the Maroons did it with a 12-0 shutout. The team has certainly proven it can square off against any team in the ODAC and give them a tough matchup. The Maroons next game takes place this Saturday against Lynchburg at 1:00 p.m. in another doubleheader series. Be sure to come out and support the Maroons as they look to upset the #1 team in the conference.