By Jeff Nations
Former area softball standouts Brea Hinegardner (Central '10) and Amanda Lutz (Sherando '11) have played instrumental roles in Bridgewater's hot start this season.
Lutz, listed as a utility player on the Eagles' roster, has shared time in the pitcher's circle with teammate Brianna Cox. Lutz has been dominant in five starts for Bridgewater, going 3-0 with a 1.84 earned run average while striking out 14 in 19 innings of work. At the plate, she's been tremendous in limited opportunities. Lutz is batting a whopping .545 in 11 at-bats with a double and a pair of RBIs.
In her last game action on March 13 against Delaware Valley, Lutz fired a five-inning perfect game with nine strikeouts in an 8-0 victory. At the plate, Lutz was 2-for-3 with a run scored in the win.
Hinegardner also had a solid day in that same game, going 2-for-3 with a pair of runs. For the season, the senior first baseman is among Bridgewater's top hitters. In 32 plate appearances, she's tallied a team-high three triples along with a home run and eight RBIs (second-best on team).
Bridgewater, a member of the NCAA Division III Old Dominion Athletic Conference, if off to an 8-2 start. The Eagles have not played a conference opponent yet.
DANCE TICKET: It turned out to be a short stay, but Paige Mills (Sherando '10) and her Randolph-Macon College women's basketball teammates reached the ultimate goal of any program -- the NCAA tournament.
Mills, a 5-foot-10 senior forward, played a significant part in helping the Yellow Jackets get there. Inserted into the starting lineup midway through the season, Mills helped R-MC go 10-0 with her in the starting five before a final 91-62 loss to Messiah in the first round of the Division III tournament on March 7. Among those victories was a win in the ODAC tournament championship game, giving R-MC (23-6, 13-3 ODAC) its title in the conference. The Yellow Jackets were a perfect 14-0 on their home court in Crenshaw Arena.
The numbers Mills put up were modest -- 1.1 points and 2.5 rebounds per game -- but R-MC coach Carroll LaHaye credited the senior as a stabilizing force and unsung contributor to the team's success after a road victory against Shenandoah during the regular season.
In the finale against Messiah, Mills pulled down five rebounds and had an assist in 15 minutes of action.
SPRING SWING: Katie Gordon (Handley '10) helped make Bridgewater's spring break trip to Hilton Head Island, S.C., even more enjoyable as the Eagles went 3-0 over a five-day span. Gordon, a senior who plays No. 1 singles and partners with Maria Hawkins to form the team's No. 1 doubles pair, had a perfect week by going 3-0 in singles and 3-0 in doubles. Bridgewater picked up wins against Marietta College (8-1), Ohio Wesleyan (8-6) and Penn St.-Behrend (8-1).
Gordon, who lost just six total games in her three singles wins, was honored as the ODAC's Women's Tennis Player of the Week for March 9-15.
On the season, Gordon is 8-4 in singles play and has combined with Hawkins to post a 7-3 record in doubles competition. Bridgewater is 4-2 overall and 1-1 in the ODAC.
Contact Sports Editor Jeff Nations at 540-465-5137 ext. 161, or firstname.lastname@example.org>