From Emory University Athletics
Junior Hannah Sendel snapped a 2-2 tie with a dramatic two-run homer in the top of the eighth inning, giving the Emory softball team a 4-2 victory over Berry College and the NCAA Division III Atlanta Regional title. The victory raised the No. 7-ranked Eagles' overall record to 34-7 while the Vikings closed out their campaign at 34-8.
Playing as the visiting team, senior Micah Scharff led off the eighth frame with a single to left field. After the next batter popped out, Sendel blasted a 3-0 pitch over the left field fence, providing the Eagles with their winning runs. It was Sendel's 14th homer, tying for second on the program's seasonal ladder, and 47th and 48th RBIs on the year.
Playing its third straight elimination game, Berry battled back in the bottom of the eighth, loading the bases with nobody out. However, sophomore Brittany File escaped the jam, fielding a pop fly before getting a game-ending double play that started when senior shortstop Micah Scharff snared a line shot off the bat of Brittany Tuttle and then tossed the ball to third baseman Tara Fallahee to complete the twin killing. It was fitting that Scharff figured in the game's final play after completing the contest with a 2-for-4 effort at the plate that included her leading off the contest with her third home run of the season while also scoring three runs. Scharff was named the Most Outstanding Player of the Regional after hitting .444 (4-for-9), scoring four runs and finishing with one RBI.
File picked up the win, her 17th in 21 decisions, after going 7 2/3 innings in relief, allowing eight hits while striking out six batters. BC freshman Kassie Howard suffered the hard-luck loss, just her third against 20 wins, going all eight frames and fanning five
Emory stretched its lead to 2-0 in the third when Scharff, after reaching second as a result of a Berry error, scored on a single by sophomore Tara Fallahee. The Vikings countered with their first run in the bottom half of the inning when, after the first two batters were retired, Kylie Aiken was hit by a pitch. Marie Collop followed with a double to right center that pushed Aiken home. Berry then knotted the score the following inning when sophomore Brittany Ferrell singled in pinch runner Shakarah Boswell.
Berry finished with nine hits, two by Ferrell, while Emory totaled seven safeties. The Vikings threatened to score throughout the game, ending with 12 runners left on base included a bases-loaded situation in the first inning and a pair in the seventh and eighth.
Emory moves into the next weekend's Super Regional Round and will play either No. 2-ranked UT-Tyler (45-3) with the location, dates and times of the games to be released on Monday (May 11). The Patriots fought off three elimination contests, including two on Sunday against No. 3-ranked East Texas Baptist, to advance.
NCAA ATLANTA REGIONAL ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM
Kalin Oglesby -- LaGrange
Rhyan Scearce -- Averett
Mary Beth Smith -- Averett
Brittany Tuttle -- Berry
Brittany Ferrell -- Berry
Kylie Aiken -- Berry
Hannah Sendel -- Emory
Tara Fallahee -- Emory
Brittany File -- Emory
Micah Scharff (Most Outstanding Player) -- Emory