From Emory University Athletics
The Emory No. 9-ranked softball team will be playing in the Super Regional Round of the NCAA Championships for the third straight year after edging No. 4 Berry in the second of two meetings against the host Vikings on Sunday in the Mount Berry Regional. The Eagles started the day falling to Berry by a 5-1 margin, which forced a deciding contest where Emory prevailed, 5-4, in eight innings. Emory is now 43-5 on the year, tying the program record for most wins, while finished out its season at 39-8.
Emory generated its winning in the eighth when freshman Emmeryn Wheelan led off with a single. With freshman Sam Vicent inserted as a pinch runner, she moved to second following a sacrifice bunt by Alyssa Pollard. After advancing to third on a ground out, Vincent crossed the plate as a result of a fielding miscue by the Berry infield. The outcome negated a Berry effort that saw it rally from a 4-0 deficit, tying the game in the bottom of the seventh when Kenzi Flemi came through with a two-out single that scored Sarah Brown. Junior pitcher Brittany File picked up the nerve-wracking win, her 32nd in 35 decisions this year, going all eight frames and giving up just one earned run and striking out eight.
Junior Amy Wray and freshman Cassie Baca each collected a pair of safeties to highlight an eight-hit attack. Baca singled in the Eagles' first run of the game in the top of the second, and Emory then extended its cushion to 4-0 when it made the most of three bases-loaded walks in the top of the fourth. Berry countered with a pair of unearned runs in its half of the fifth, and then tacked up another run on the board in the sixth.
Needing a win in the opening game to stay alive in the Regional, Berry trailed by a 1-0 score before rallying for a five-run sixth inning, which was aided by two Emory errors. Baca knocked in Emory's lone run of the game with a two-out single in the bottom of the third that scored pinch runner Jenna Wilson. File went five innings and suffered the setback while Berry hurler Kassie Howard tossed a complete-game four hitter for her 28th victory of the year.
File was named the Mount Berry Regional Most Outstanding Player, after throwing 27 of a possible 29 innings, compiling an ERA of 1.56 to go along with 34 strikeouts. In the second game vs. Berry on Sunday, she eclipsed the 300-strikeout mark on the year and will enter the Super Regional with 307. Other Emory representatives on the All-Regional Team included sophomore Janelle Turnquest, junior Amy Wray and senior Melody Carter.
Emory will match-up against Benedictine University (37-15) of the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference in the Super Regional with action in the best-of-three series starting next Friday (May 20) at a site to be determined.