The Hornets took on Washburn University in a fierce double-header on Friday. Emporia won both games, 4-3 and 8-4, and carried their momentum into the next day when they swept the Fort Hays State Tigers, 2-1 and 6-4.
April Huddleston, assistant coach, was recognized before the game when she received the SAC award.
“She was voted on because with her being faculty she understands student athletes,” said Head Coach Julie LeMaire. “She works with them, and understands that they have demands outside of class. I think it’s just something special for her and the athletes appreciate it.”
Huddleston also got to deliver the traditional first pitch of the game, which went straight down the strike zone.
During game one, the Tigers put the first point on the board in the third inning, but never found a way to score after.
Junior pitcher Karley Schmelzer did not allow the Tigers run to put any pressure on her.
“I knew we have great bats,” Schmelzer said. “I knew we were going to come back and get it tied up and try to win.”
First up to bat in the fifth inning was sophomore second baseman Taylor Reichard. Reichard earned the Hornets their first run of the night as she hit a home run.
“It was pretty solid contact,” Reichard said. “Coach had just told us to sit back in the back of the box and wait for that pitch, so I just did what she said.”
Following Reichard’s homerun, sophomore third baseman Jessica Gragg got on base with a double. Sophomore center fielder Jessica Brewer’s hit allowed Gragg to cross the plate before the Hornets used up their three outs.
Although the Hornets did not score on hits in the first inning of the second game, they took full advantage over four errors by the Tigers and put three points on the board.
After two more unearned runs in the second inning, junior catcher Amanda Self hit an RBI single allowing sophomore first baseman Tricia Vogel to cross home plate. The Hornets led 6-0 after the first two innings.
The Tigers scored two runs in the third inning after Maddie Holub hit a double that scored two. They continued their scoring in the sixth inning when the ball was overthrown to second base. After a much needed double-play, Emporia closed the sixth inning after the Tigers got within two points.
“I was frustrated with the way the girls were playing because that’s not the team that we are,” LeMaire said in response to a difficult sixth inning. “I thought that because Fort Hays came out and made some mistakes early on we just got complacent because we got up with a few runs, and we had beaten them the game before.”
ESU ended the game in the seventh inning on solid defensive plays. The Hornets snagged game two and advanced to 14-0 in the MIAA and 23-7 on the year.