NORTHFIELD, Vt. – The Emmanuel College softball team took advantage of the long ball on Sunday in a Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) doubleheader sweep over Norwich University on Sabine Field at Haynes Family Stadium. Emmanuel (15-11, 6-0 GNAC) run-ruled Norwich (8-10, 2-4 GNAC) in both games, winning Game 1 by a score of 13-4 in six innings and Game 2 by a 10-2 total in five innings.
Freshman Grace Orcutt torched Norwich all game long, going 5-for-6 with seven RBIs and two home runs to lead the Saints' offense that combined to hit four home runs total in the doubleheader.
Emmanuel extended its GNAC-lead in the home run department to 26 four-baggers on the season, compared to second-place Johnson & Wales' 11.
Norwich senior catcher Madison Miller (Patterson, Ga.) led the offense with four hits on the day, while junior second baseman Katie Reid (Gold Canyon, Ariz.) went 2-for-4 with two RBIs to lead the Cadets' offensive effort.
Emmanuel used a big fourth inning in each game to pull away en route to the victories. The Saints scored seven runs in the top of the fourth to turn a 3-1 lead into a 10-1 lead in the opener, they also had a six-run top of the fourth inning in Game 2, highlighted by Orcutt crushing a grand slam. Orcutt also had a two-run double and Sarah Hoisl added a two-run single to highlight the fourth inning in Game 1.
Norwich led early in both games, scoring once in the bottom of the first in Game 1 and twice in the bottom of the first in Game 2 to take early leads.
Junior shortstop Makenna Wade (Saint Johns, Fla.) walked with the bases loaded to force in a run by Miller to take a 1-0 lead in Game 1.
Emmanuel's Ashley Skey hit the Saints first home run of the day in the top of the second inning with a two-run bomb over the left centerfield fence.
Norwich responded after Emmanuel took a 10-1 lead with three runs of its own in the bottom of the fourth with Sydney Parkhurst (Barrington, R.I.) scoring on an error and then Reid driving a triple over the head of the left fielder and then coming around to score on the same play due to a throw from the outfield rolling out of play. Miller also scored on the play.
Senior Emily Oliver (Sagamore Hills, Ohio) was stuck with the loss after allowing five earned runs on five hits and two walks while striking out three. She fell to 6-5 on the year.
Megan Kieselback picked up the victory for Emmanuel, going six innings and giving up two earned runs along with three walks while striking out five.
In Game 2, Audrey Esakoff was on base in all three of her trips to the plate with two walks and a two-run home run in Game 2.
Norwich was limited to just three hits in Game 2 with Miller, Reid and Naomi Rinaldo (Middlefield, Conn.) picked up hits. Olivia Burgos picked up the win for Emmanuel, improving to 3-4 on the season. She went four innings and gave up one earned run, while striking out three. Brittany Vandergroeff (Lodi, N.J.) was saddled with the tough loss after giving up just three earned runs with seven unearned, including all six in Emmanuel's big fourth inning.
Vandergroeff dropped to 2-2 on the season.
Emmanuel has now run-ruled Norwich in four straight games, sweeping the season series the last two years after the Cadets ended the Saints' season in the 2017 GNAC Tournament First Round with a 7-2 win on the NU Softball Field.
Norwich will look to get back on track on Wednesday when it travels down to Suffolk for a GNAC doubleheader that was postponed from Saturday due to rain. First pitch is at 3:00 PM. Emmanuel is back in action the same day, taking on Regis College on the road in a make-up doubleheader from this weekend when they games were postponed due to wet field conditions.
*Release courtesy of Norwich University Athletic Communications