NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – Three straight fourth-inning bunts from No. 1 Emory led to a three-run inning and a 4-1 victory over McDaniel in the first round of the 2012 NCAA Division III softball regional on Thursday.
Caroline Brehm (Hanover, Pa./New Oxford) led the Green Terror (27-13) in the circle with a program NCAA tournament single-game and single-tournament record eight strikeouts.
Moria Sullivan provided three RBIs and one of her team's six hits for the top-seeded Eagles (34-3), who advance in the winner's bracket and will take on Roanoke, which defeated Messiah 7-2 in the second first-round game, at 2 p.m. on Friday.
With the loss, McDaniel is relegated to the elimination bracket and will play the Falcons at 10 a.m. on Friday.
Rachel Sidney (East Meadow, N.Y./East Meadow) led off the fourth inning with the first hit of the tournament, with a shot into shallow left field.
After Sidney moved to second on a groundout, Jordan Beans (Hanover, Pa./Hanover) dropped a ball into right field to score Sidney for a 1-0 lead.
Emory countered with some small ball in the bottom of the inning. Claire Bailey led off with a bloop single to right before Brehm got her fifth strikeout of the game to break Sam Abrams' previous Green Terror NCAA tournament game record.
Three straight bunts netted the equalizing run before an infield single from Moira Sullivan up the middle plated Megan Light and Sophia Tarte for a 3-1 lead.
A Sophia Tart double to the gap in right-center to lead off the home sixth followed by a pair of bunts stretched the lead to 4-1.
Sam Stitely (Westminster, Md./North Carroll) added the Green Terror's only other hit of the day. Sidney was robbed of a second hit to lead off the sixth inning when Emory center fielder Lauren Gorodetsky made a diving catch in right-center.
NCAA Regional Opening Round Post-Game Press Conference
Head coach Phil Smith and starting pitcher Caroline Brehm in the post-game media tent after the game.