Marlins Win Battle of Top 25 Teams, Bogan Sets ODAC Steals Record
COLUMBUS, Ga. -- The No. 8 ranked Virginia Wesleyan College softball team made an impact on the first day of the NFCA Leadoff Classic, defeating No. 24 Kean University in a battle of top 25 squads, before senior Courtney Bogan set the VWC and ODAC career steals record in the nightcap.
Bogan entered the day with 126 steals, needing four to break the career record of 129 set by Tori Higginbotham (2011-14).
Game 1 - 10-1 Virginia Wesleyan Victory (6 innings)
The Marlins jumped out to an early lead in the top of the first inning as Bogan singled and stole second. Cassetty Howerin doubled her home for a 1-0 lead before walks to Kayla Dost and Taylor Galvin loaded the bags.
An illegal pitch advanced all the runners, doubling the Marlin lead. A Jessica Lindsay single through the right side doubled the lead again as Galvin and Dost scored for a 4-0 margin.
Virginia Wesleyan capitalized for two more runs in the fourth when Kiersten Richardson singled and stole second with one out. A groundout moved Richardson up one more base where she raced home on a Bogan infield single. Following another steal by Bogan, number 128 of her career, Kayla Malkos singled up the middle to chase Bogan home.
Kean managed a run in the bottom of the fifth, but VWC put the game away in the top of the sixth on a Lindsay solo homerun, a run-scoring wild pitch, and two-RBI single off the bat of Howerin.
Kandis Kresinske (4-1) threw all six innings, striking out five while surrendering four hits and three walks.
Game 2 - 10-1 Virginia Wesleyan Victory (6 innings)
Virginia Wesleyan won game two by the same score, but did not pull away from Birmingham-Southern (10-3) until the latter innings.
The Marlins got a two-RBI single from Blake Henderson in the first and another from Malkos in the second to take a 4-0 lead, but the B-SC pitcher would not allow another run until the fifth inning.
Back-to-back singles in the second, including Bogan's record-tying steal, set Malkos up for the bases clearing single.
Savannah Lee connected on a long homer to left field for the Panthers to cut the lead to 4-1, before Taylor Harkins shut down the Marlins yet again, swinging some momentum to her team.
Mary Shipp was even more impressive in the circle, keeping the Panthers off the board in the fifth to keep the score 4-1. That is when the long ball ended the contest for the Marlins.
Kayla Dost rocketed a shot over the wall to score Henderson and Malkos for a 7-1 lead. Another long bomb, this one in walk-off fashion off the bat of Henderson, scored Malkos and Bogan in the bottom of the sixth to end the game via run rule.
Bogan's steal in the bottom of the sixth inning was number 130 of her career, setting the all-time school, and ODAC record.
The Marlins got the Harkins, entering the game with a 6-0 record and 0.87 ERA, for 10 earned runs in 5 1/3 innings while not striking out in the contest.
Shipp (6-0) struck out three while allowing four hits and two walks.
Malkos went 4-for-4 at the plate while Henderson drove in five RBI. Bogan and Malkos each scored three runs.
No. 8 Virginia Wesleyan (11-1) plays Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (11-3-1) Saturday at 12:30 p.m. The Marlins will play again later in the day with an opponent to be determined based on other tournament matchups.