SALEM, Va. --- On Friday, it looked like the nation's top-ranked team might be headed for an early exit from the 2018 ODAC Softball Tournament field following an opening round loss. Virginia Wesleyan University certainly did not buy into that predicted outcome as the Marlins pulled off six straight victories in elimination games including two triumphs on Sunday afternoon over Emory & Henry College to lift the program's 11th overall and third straight ODAC softball trophy.
Tournament Most Outstanding Player Hanna Hull and first-year righty Carla Hall combined to allow one hit over 14 innings against the Wasps on Sunday on field one of the James I. Moyer Sports Complex in Salem, Va. Hull had arguably the more tense outing as she fanned 10 batters and allowed just a fourth-inning single to fellow ODAC All-Tournament Team member Erin Anderson on the way to a 1-0 shutout. Hall benefitted from a combination of increased offensive output and four E&H defensive miscues on the way to no-hitting the Wasps in a 6-0 championship-clinching decision. Hull improved to 30-2 on the season, while Hall moved to 10-0.
The title for Virginia Wesleyan (45-2) marks five it the past six seasons for VWU. It also grants automatic entry into the NCAA Division III Tournament, which is eight days away from announcing its field of 62 teams on Monday, May 7. Emory & Henry (31-14) will be one of several ODAC teams keeping an eye on regional results as they look towards a possible at-large bid. The selection show will be at 1:00 p.m. on www.ncaa.com.
RELATED: ODAC Live Bracket
Hull went 4-1 in five starts in the tournament covering 35.0 innings of work. The ODAC's all-time strikeout leader fanned 36 batters and gave up just 19 hits as opponents hit just .157 off her. Hall, meanwhile, made three appearances including two starts. She worked a total of 15 innings and allowed just eight hits and a pair of unearned runs. Opponents hit just .061 off her.
Emory & Henry worked around baserunners in the first and second innings of game one, including a put out of VWU catcher Jessica Lindsay at home. Leah Elswick, who initially had a pop-up get caught in the wind and drop for a single, came up throwing and fired a strike to Amanda Whitlow for the tag play at the dish.
The scoreboard moved for the only time in the bottom of the fourth inning. Katelyn Biando led off VWU's half with a single before Lindsay walked. Two batters later, Julia Sinnett sent a grounder thru the left side, bringing in Biando for the game's lone run.
Tiffany Cole and Cameron Derr scattered eight hits in allowing the lone run. The loss was charged to Cole, who struck out two and walked a pair in 4.2 frames. Derr registered a trio of punchouts while allowing just one hit in 1.1 innings of relief.
RELATED: Game 1 Box Score
Derr got the start in game two, but miscues put the first-year hurler behind the eight-ball from the outset. With one down and two runners on, Derr got Biando to fly out to right. Madison McClanahan made the catch cleanly but, in an attempt to get Madison Glaubke tagging up at second base, her throw sailed over the head of third baseman Allyson Steadman and allowed the Marlins' outfielder to score the game's first run.
Virginia Wesleyan tacked on three more tallies in the second inning. A walk to Amy Large and Sinnett taking one on the right elbow put the first two runners on base. Maria Weddle sacrificed both over with a bunt. Beth Ford sent a chopper to short that Elswick misplayed after Sinnett screened in front of her on the way to third base, allowing Large to score. After Ford stole second, Derr struck out Kiersten Richardson and appeared to get out of the inning with a fly ball to center that drifted to right-center, but Erin Anderson had it go off the heel of her glove to allow Sinnett and Ford to score.
The Marlins added one run each in the fifth and sixth innings. Lindsay belted her sixth homer of the season and third of the tournament with a solo shot to right-center in the fifth. Glaubke singled home Ford for the game's final tally in the sixth.
Derr went three innings and gave up four unearned runs on three hits. She walked one and struck out one. Alex Braun made a brief appearance, giving up a hit and walking two in 0.2 frames. Cole finished the outing for E&H, surrendering the final two runs on four hits.
RELATED: Game 2 Box Score
For more information, visit any of the participating schools’ websites, or go to the ODAC Men’s Lacrosse Tournament website. Don't forget to become a fan of the ODAC on Facebook and follow @odacathletics on Twitterand Instagram.
Kerstin Roth, Randolph-Macon College
Brittany Coffey, Lynchburg College
Conner English, Lynchburg College
Erin Anderson, Emory & Henry College
Cameron Derr, Emory & Henry College
Caley Hodge, Emory & Henry College
Katelyn Biando, Virginia Wesleyan University
Madison Glaubke, Virginia Wesleyan University
Carla Hall, Virginia Wesleyan University
Hanna Hull, Virginia Wesleyan University (MOP)
Cassetty Howerin, Virginia Wesleyan University
Jessica Lindsay, Virginia Wesleyan University
Julia Sinnett, Virginia Wesleyan University