SALEM, Va. - The top-seeded Virginia Wesleyan University softball team stayed alive through the loser's bracket at the Old Dominion Athletic Conference Championship on Saturday, losing their first game but winning their next two. The Marlins dropped the day's opener to Randolph-Macon, 3-2, but bounced back to take down Ferrum, 9-4, and then Emory & Henry 4-1. With the day's results, the Marlins improve to 37-4 on the year and will go on to play Lynchburg at 12 p.m. on Sunday.
GAME 1: R-MC - 3 VWU - 2
After the Yellow Jackets tallied one in the top of the first, the Marlins were able to answer with one of their own in the bottom of the frame. Madison Glaubke led the side off with a walk and proceeded to steal second. A groundout would move the junior to third and she'd reach home as Julia Sinnett flew out to right field.
Randolph-Macon retook the lead in the fourth and pushed the deficit 3-1 with another run in the sixth. Sinnett would get one back in the bottom of the sixth as she homered over the left field fence. The team would get runners on in the bottom of the seventh but were unable to get them across.
Hanna Hull was tagged with just her second loss of the year (23-2), allowing just one earned run and striking out seven.
GAME 2: VWU - 9 FC - 4
The Marlins found themselves in a hole quickly as the Panthers registered a pair of runs in the first inning. In the second, VWU was able to knot things back up courtesy of Kaylah Duplain. Katelyn Biando led the frame off with a walk and two batters later, Duplain would take a ball over the center field fence to bring the score to 2-2.
Ferrum took the lead right back though, scoring another two in the top of the third. Once again the Marlins answered, this time plating four in the bottom of the third. After Beth Ford and Glaubke singled to open the inning up, Sinnett doubled down the left field line to score both of them. Sinnett would eventually score on an overthrow by the catcher on a Krissy D'Arco steal attempt to make it 5-4 and D'Arco would reach on a Jessica Goldyn groundout.
In the fifth, the Marlins added two insurance runs as a Duplain double scored Sinnett and Biando. A final run would be driven in one inning later as Maria Weddle singled home Glaubke.
GAME 3: VWU - 4 E&H - 1
For the first time of the Championship, the Marlins were the first to get on the board. Lindsay got things started with a two-out walk. Weddle then drove a ball to left field that went under the fielder's glove, allowing Lindsay to make it all the way home.
Scoring resumed again in the sixth as the Marlins tacked on three insurance runs. Sinnett began with a one-out walk and was driven home in the next at-bat by a Biando double. Duplain would then single to put runners on the corner and a hard grounder down the right field line would plate D'Arco who was pinch running for Biando. The final run of the side came by way of a Weddle sacrifice bunt that brought in Duplain from third. The Wasps would score one in the seventh but solid pitching made sure the comeback was halted.
That pitching was brought on by Hull, who earned her second win of the day as she struck out 11 batters in the process.