VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. --- One hit. That's all Hanna Hull allowed and its the story behind the game's lone run as Virginia Wesleyan College punched its ticket to the NCAA Division III Softball National Championship Series with a 1-0 victory over Kean University in super regional action on Saturday.
This victory coupled with a 3-0 triumph on Friday takes the Marlins softball program to a position it has never been. Virginia Wesleyan, now 48-2 on the season, will be one of the final eight teams competing for the Division III softball title on May 25-30 at USA Softball Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City, Okla.
The Marlins are 6-0 in the NCAA postseason this year, equaling their win total from seven previous appearances on the national stage.
RELATED: Virginia Beach Super Regional | NCAA Division III Softball
Virginia Wesleyan catcher Jessica Lindsay was central to a pair of one-hit themes in the Marlins 1-0 triumph over Kean (36-10). Several times on Saturday, VWC threatened to score runs against KU starter Shannon McMahon (25-5), but the Cougars righty scattered six hits and kept the scoreboard clear of Marlins' runs until Lindsay dug in for her at bat in the top of the seventh. With one down and Madison Glaubke on first after a sharp single thru the left side, Lindsay sent shockwaves thru both sets of fans with a high fly to deep center. The ball hit the fence two-thirds of the way up for a double. Glaubke, who hesitated just briefly after contact, motored all the way around from first to score the game's only run.
Lindsay also played a part as the battery-mate in Hull's one-hit shutout of the Cougars. The Marlins rookie southpaw didn't allow a basehit until there was one down in the bottom of the seventh. The only other baserunners she surrendered were a pair of hit batters in the second and third innings.
Kean's lack of offense certainly wasn't due to lack of aggression. The plan from the get-go was to reverse Friday's misfortunes and not allow Hull to get deep into counts. Hull threw just 66 pitches (48 strikes) as Kean tried to jump on her early in plate appearances. The change in approach had little affect on the ODAC Pitcher and Rookie of the Year as she moved to 29-2 on the season. Her seven strikeouts give her 326, further increasing her ODAC and VWC single-season records.
The format for the championship series in Oklahoma City is a combination of both the regional and super regional structures. The eight qualifying teams will play thru a pair of four-team regional-style double-elimination setups. Each winner will then reset and square off in a best of three series to determine a national champion.
Be sure to pay attention to www.ncaa.com as well as www.vwcathletics.com for further information including the other qualifying teams and ticket availability.
SUPER REGIONAL AWARDS
Most Outstanding Player: Jessica Lindsay, C, Virginia Wesleyan
Most Outstanding Pitcher: Hanna Hull, Virginia Wesleyan