NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - The No. 1 Virginia Wesleyan University softball team took down Christopher Newport University, 7-2, in the title game of the NCAA Division III Regional Round held in Newport News, Va. on Sunday afternoon. With the win, the Marlins move to 48-2 on the season and will now square off against Berry College in the NCAA DIII Super Regional Round.
Both teams were held scoreless through the first two innings, despite getting runners on the bases. The Captains would breakthrough first, plating one in the third frame. Virginia Wesleyan answered right back though, as Kiersten Richardson chopped one to the pitcher that allowed Maria Wedle to make it home from third.
No runs would be scored in the fourth, but CNU regained its lead in the fifth as a solo home run put them up one again. Once again though, VWU had an answer. Richardson led the top of the fifth off with a walk and was pushed to second on Madison Glaubke single. The pair were then moved one base on a Cassetty Howerin groundout, bringing up Katelyn Biando. The freshman did not falter, pasting one down the right field line for a two-run triple. With a runner just 60 feet away, Kerrigan Simpson (who was pinch hitting) laid down a bunt and Biando beat the play at home to make it a 4-2 game.
The Marlins piled in some insurance runs in the following inning, going on a two-out rally for three. With runners at first and second, Biando cranked a ball off the pitcher, with the deflection allowing Richardson to reach home from second. After Biando stole second to put runners at second and third, Jessica Lindsay singled to the left side allowing both base runners to reach.
VWU was then able to shut the Captains down over the next two innings, stamping their ticket to the Super Regionals on a popper caught by Julia Sinnett.
Hanna Hull manned the rubber for all seven innings, picking up her 33 win of the year (33-2) and her 20th complete game.
At the conclusion of the Regional Round, Howerin was crowned the tournament's Most Valuable Player while Biando, Richardson and Hull all collected All-Tournament Team honors.