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The Blue & Gray Press | February 20, 2018

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Doubleheader domination

By JOE CLAYTON

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Senior Annie Blaine delivers a pitch. (Photo credit: Clint Often)

Senior day for the University of Mary Washington softball team was a hit for the Eagles as they swept York College, 6-0 and 5-0, in their doubleheader on Saturday.

The Eagles started the day on the right foot, with four runs in the first inning of game one. Small ball was in effect as senior outfielder Brandee Adams led off walk and was followed by two bunt singles from junior shortstop Bireet Chitty and sophomore third basewoman Brittany Scites.

The offensive onslaught continued with sophomore Emily Nykorchuk’s RBI single. Senior Kerry Busby smashed the small ball tactic to pieces with a double to score Scites and Nykorchuk. Busby’s double was the only extra base hit of the 10 the Eagles had in game one.

Junior outfielder Hannah Williams led off the fourth inning with a single and a steal of second. After Adams was hit by a pitch, Chitty singled in Williams to home. Adams scored on a Scites RBI groundout, giving the Eagles a 6-0 lead.

Chitty led UMW in game one with three hits, followed by Scites and Emily Briggs with two hits each.

Six runs were more than enough for senior pitcher Annie Blaine, who tossed a complete game shutout allowing just four hits. She had three walks and one strikeout.

“Annie Blaine is recovering from an injury and has better control of her pitches,” said Head Coach Dee Conway. “She’s worked hard, and it’s starting to show.”

The nightcap also featured another complete game shutout, this time from Mary Washington sophomore pitcher Hannah Otterman, who allowed just two hits while walking one and striking out three.

“Hannah had really good command of her pitches,” said Conway. “Her composure on the mound was great.”

As the pitching continued to roll, so did the bats, with one run in the third, two in the fourth and two in the sixth. Chitty singled and, later, scored on an error for the first run.

In the fourth, sophomore Alex Tenney reached on a fielder’s choice. An Adams’ triple scored Tenney, followed by a Chitty single to score Adams.

Junior center Brianna D’Agata maneuvered her way to third base after a single, advancing on a wild pitch and a flyout before scoring on an Adams sac-fly. Later in the sixth, Chitty doubled and scored on a Scites single.

Saturday’s offensive outburst was a welcome change from the offensive struggles the Eagles have been experiencing.

“It’s no secret that our offense has struggled lately,” said Conway. “However, players are participating in extra hitting sessions, working on problem areas. Everyone made a stronger effort to be more disciplined at the plate.”

The wins could help the team in the conference tournament.

“The extra incentive that two conference wins could get us closer to the No. 2 seed for the CAC tournament helped,” said Conway. “We now need the two wins against Wesley this weekend.”

The Capital Athletic Conference softball tournament begins Tuesday, April 23.