On Campus: Hinegardner, Lutz help Eagles to strong start

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 jnations@nvdaily.com>