NEWPORT NEWS, Va. --- A Kiersten Richardson walk off single in the eighth inning sealed up a trip to the NCAA Regional Round Championship Saturday afternoon as the Virginia Wesleyan University softball team defeated Christopher Newport University, 7-6, in Newport News, Va. With the win the Marlins move to 47-2 on the season.
The win also held special meaning as it was head coach Brandon Elliott's 400th of his career (all with VWU).
Taking you to the top of the seventh, the Marlins held a two-run lead over their foe. The Captains negated that with a two run homer and kept VWU off the board to force extras. Hanna Hull went to work, putting three straight down, bringing up Daja Burgee, who led off the bottom of the frame. Burgee battled, eventually getting a walk and was then switched out for Julie Fassl at first. A wild pitch sent Fassl to second and a beth Ford sac bunt put her at third. That brought up Richardson, who attempted a squeeze but fouled off the bunt. She instead elected to give a full swing at the next pitch, belting one to left center and scoring the game-winning run.
The two teams go things going early, beginning with CNU, who picked up their first two-run homer in the first inning. Cassetty Howerin answered back though, sending a solo shot over the left field fence to cut the lead to just one.
VWU took control in the second inning though. With bases loaded, Ford lined a single to left, tying the game up at 2-2. Richardson then cleared two off the bags with a single to centerfield, giving the Marlins their first lead of the day. Later in the inning, Katelyn Biando would get in on the action as her RBI single increased the lead to 5-2.
The Captains would not go away though, plating a single run in both the third and fourth. Howerin picked up an RBI in the fourth, increasing the lead to 6-4 and that would bring the game to the prior mentioned top of the seventh.
Hull got the start in the circle, going 3.1 innings before being relieved by Carla Hall. Hall was brought into a tough situation, entering with the bases loaded and just one out. The freshman never waivered though, forcing two straight outs to keep the Captains off the board. She would go until the eighth as Coach Elliott elected to go back to Hull for the extra inning. The gamble paid off as Hull went 1-2-3 and picked up the win.
--- This release is courtesy of the Virginia Wesleyan University sports information department. ---