Marlins' Bats Come Alive in Regional Championship Win Over Randolph-Macon

Teresa Cardamone hit one of Virginia Wesleyan's four homeruns in the Marlins' 9-0 regional championship victory over Randolph-Macon on Monday.
Teresa Cardamone hit one of Virginia Wesleyan's four homeruns in the Marlins' 9-0 regional championship victory over Randolph-Macon on Monday.

ASHLAND, Va. --- Virginia Wesleyan College smacked four homeruns and got another stellar outing from Ashland Regional Most Outstanding Player Hanna Hull as the Marlins won the regional championship with a 9-0 victory in five innings over Randolph-Macon College on Monday afternoon.

With the win, Virginia Wesleyan moves on to the super regional round of the NCAA Division III Softball Tournament. The Marlins' opponent will be either Kean University or Christopher Newport University as both teams were headed to the "if necessary" game to decide their regional championship at the time of this release.

RELATED: Ashland Regional Website | NCAA Bracket

Virginia Wesleyan (46-2) sent a trio of pop-ups to the left side of the Yellow Jackets' defense in the top of the first, while Randolph-Macon (35-11) threatened to get on the board early in their half of the first frame. Pitcher Candace Whittemore walked and moved to second when Savannah Wood reached on an error on a sacrifice attempt. But Hull proved up to the task in calming the threat as she recorded each out with a strikeout. The second of the two K's marked her 300th of the season, making her the first pitcher in ODAC history to register 300 or more strikeouts in a season.

The Marlins spotted the ODAC Pitcher and Rookie of the Year four runs in the second inning. Hull singled and moved to second on a wild pitch. Teresa Cardamone reached on an error at second on a dropped pop-up, which allowed Hull to move over to third. Madison Glaubke followed with a single up the middle to bring around Beth Ford, who moved out of the flex position to run for Hull. Whittemore nearly worked her way out of the jam with a popped up bunt by Jessica Lindsay and a strikeout of Kaylah Duplain, but a dropped foul ball allowed Kiersten Richardson to load the bases with single back up the middle. Liz Bailey followed with a three-run double to right field, bringing around all three Marlins for a 4-0 advantage.

Hull continued her affinity with strikeouts in the bottom of the second as she fanned all three batters she faced, which meant each of the first six outs VWC recorded came on strikeouts.

VWC put two more runs on the board in the third inning with a pair of solo homeruns. Rightfielder Blake Henderson led off the frame with a solo shot to left-center, her seventh of the season. Two batters later, Cardamone belted her first dinger of the season, again clearing the left-centerfield fence for a 6-0 Marlins lead.

Richardson, the nation's leader in stolen bases with 58, got into the homerun act in the fourth inning as she hammered a 1-0 pitch to the stands in left-center to push VWC out to a 7-0 lead.

The Marlins put the caps on their offensive performance with two more runs in the top of the fifth. With two down, Cardamone dropped a single in between Wood and left fielder Skylar Toth just inside the foul line. Pinch runner LeAnn Adkins would only need to trot around the bases as Glaubke followed with a two-run blast to left-center, her second of the season.

Kasey Newcomb closed the door on the victory in the bottom of the frame despite allowing a lead-off double to Brandi Mulvena. Newcomb induced three groundouts thereafter to put the wraps on a 9-0 regional championship victory.

Hull moved to 27-2 on the season with four innings of two-hit ball. She walked one batter and fanned seven to bring her ODAC and VWC record to 305 punchouts on the season. The mark is unofficially second in Division III to St. John Fisher College All-American Lindsay Thayer, who opened the weekend with 346 K's.

The Marlins are now believed to be in position to host one of eight super regionals next weekends. Game times will be determined once all regional pods have completed play. Super regional action is slated for Friday and Saturday, May 19-20. Be sure to check for further updates and details.

Samantha Hall - Averett
Kaitlyn Aherron - Averett
Shelby Hill - Randolph-Macon
Candace Whittemore - Randolph-Macon
Savannah Wood - Randolph-Macon
Liz Bailey - Virginia Wesleyan
Teresa Cardamone - Virginia Wesleyan
Madison Glaubke - Virginia Wesleyan
Hanna Hull - Virginia Wesleyan (MOP)
Kiersten Richardson - Virginia Wesleyan