LYNCHBURG, Va. -- It was a day for big hits for Virginia Wesleyan College's 11th-ranked softball team, but five home runs did not produce a sweep for the Marlins on Saturday at Lynchburg College.
VWC belted three of the homers to help take a 7-6 decision in the first game, and added two in the second game. But, Lynchburg's Hornets scored five runs over the fourth and fifth innings to salvage a split with a 5-2 win in the Old Dominion Athletics Conference (ODAC) doubleheader.
Virginia Wesleyan (12-4, 2-2 ODAC) outhit Lynchburg 20-13 overall, but also committed more errors, 4-0, than the Hornets (13-6, 5-1).
Junior Taylor Galvin (Virginia Beach/Kempsville) and sophomore Blake Henderson (Virgnia Beach/Ocean Lakes) ripped two home runs each, one in each game, and rookie Cassety Howerin (Dover, Del./Caesar Rodney) clobbered another in the first game.
Galvin's first homer was a two-run shot in a three-run first inning that included Henderson's solo shot, as the Marlins mounted a lead they never lost in the first contest. Galvin also smacked a two-run double in the fourth inning, which was followed by Howerin's homer in a four-run showing that gave VWC a 7-3 lead.
Virginia Wesleyan used the big shots to take a 2-0 lead in the second game as Galvin belted a solo shot to left, bringing Henderson to the plate where she knocked a solo homer to left center. The Marlins connected for five more hits the remainder of the game, but could not group enough of them together to pad the score.
Lynchburg grabbed the lead in the bottom of the fourth inning, combining two hits, a wild pitcher, a fielder's error, one of VWC's errors to score three times for a lead never lost.
Kayla Malkos (Roanoke/Cave Spring), Galvin, and Henderson all recorded hits in both games for the Marlins and finished with three each. Galvin's double and two homers knocked in a team-leading five runs.
Senior All-American Kristina Karagiorgis (Ashburn/Briarwoods)notched her sixth straight pitching victory in the first game to improve to 7-2 overall. She struck out four batters, walked one, and gave up nine hits and two earned runs. Lynchburg used five pitchers, with Kirsten Copley (Midlothian/Cosby) taking the loss. The five hurlers combined to strike out three, walk three, and allow 13 hits and seven earned runs. Jessi Hall (Floyd/Floyd County) was 3-for-3 at the plate for the Hornets.
VWC junior Mary Shipp (Virginia Beach/First Colonial) dropped to 5-2 with the pitching loss in the second game, despite allowing just four hits. She struck out two and allowed two earned runs. Hope Johnson (Evington/Brookville), one of three Hornet pitchers in the game, took the win, facing 17 batters, striking out three, walking one, and allowing three hits. Conner English (Altavista/Altavista) was credited with her second save of the season. Hall also topped Lynchburg hitting in the second game with two hits.
Virginia Wesleyan faces another stiff challenge in its next outing on Tuesday, March 24, when the Marlins compete at league-leading Randolph-Macon College in a doubleheader beginning at 3 p.m.