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Emory & Henry Softball Ends NCAA Tournament Run In Historical Fashion, 5-4, To Transylvania Saturday Night

Alex Braun delivers a pitch.
-photo courtesy of Joe Matthews

DEMOREST, Ga. – The Emory & Henry College Softball Team (26-18) saw its 25th season come to a close with a contest that is sure to go down as one of the most memorable in the annals of program history. The Wasps fell, 5-4, to Transylvania University (29-12) in a 12-inning marathon which lasted over six hours and consisted of two rain delays, the first which was more than two hours long.

Not only was it the longest game ever for an E&H softball team, but sophomore pitcher Alex Braun (Cornelius, N.C.) shattered the single-game strikeout record, sitting down 19 batters in her complete-game performance which will also stand as a program record. Additionally, junior catcher Alex Thomas (Orlando, Fla.) tied the school record for putouts by an individual with 18.

The Basics
FINAL SCORE Transylvania 5, Emory & Henry 4
– Demorest, Georgia
VENUE – Walker Athletic Complex
RECORDS – Emory & Henry (26-17); Transylvania (29-12)

How It Happened
The Pioneers got on the board in the top of the first when Meg Liter doubled to left-centerfield to drive in Shelby Gambrell. E&H knotted the contest at 1-1, on a base hit by junior shortstop Leanna Toler (Abingdon, Va.) which plated freshman left fielder Anna Thomas (Climax, N.C.).

In the second, Transy took a 2-1 lead but Emory & Henry responded with three runs in the bottom of the third to take a 4-2 advantage. Toler drove in her second run of the day with a triple down the left field line and sophomore third baseman Allyson Steadman (Kingsport, Tenn.) drove in a pair with a two-out base hit.

In the top of the sixth, Transylvania scored twice on a base hit to right field by Jessica Powell to make the score 4-4.

Empty frames in the seventh, eighth, and ninth gave way to the Wasps putting a runner in scoring position with two outs in the bottom of the 10th before the first delay occurred at 7:23 p.m. Play resumed more than two hours later, and saw the battle of attrition continue.

Transylvania finally broke through in the top of the 12th. Gambrell tripled with one out to set up Alyssa Nunn's sacrifice fly to center field. In the bottom of the frame, Thomas singled to right to lead things off and advanced to third thanks to a pair of wild pitches with two outs but the Wasps' rally came up just short.

Both pitchers went the distance in the contest as TU's Kameron Bowling allowed four runs on eight hits with 15 strikeouts and eight walks. Braun permitted five runs on six hits on her way to her record-breaking 19 K's.