No. 1 Softball to travel to Randolph-Macon for NCAA Regional
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – No. 1 Virginia Wesleyan will head to ODAC rival Randolph-Macon College for an NCAA Regional as the NCAA Division III Softball Tournament field was announced on Monday. The Marlins will face Frankin & Marshall College while Randolph-Macon challenges Averett University in the other matchup.
Virginia Wesleyan (43-2) vs. Franklin & Marshall (17-21)
The Marlins will look to Hanna Hull (24-2, 0.53 ERA) for a solid start in the region. She leads the nation in wins and is second in strikeouts (275) and ERA. Courtney Wright (15-0, 1.36 ERA) provides the Marlins with another strong pitching option for a squad that boasts a 0.85 team ERA.
Kiersten Richardson will look to keep the Diplomats on edge in the circle as she leads the nation with 56 stolen bases. Cassetty Howerin (.458, 11 HR, 46 RBI) homered at Randolph-Macon in the regular season and will look to continue her success at that facility in the postseason.
Franklin & Marshall enters the field after winning its first Centennial Conference championship. The Diplomats downed Gettysburg (28-13-1) by a score of 1-0 to claim the crown.
The Diplomats are led in the circle by junior Izzy Schaefer (11-12, 3.10 ERA), although Katie Wenger (6-9, 3.96 ERA) will see some action as well. Both are contact pitchers and will have a tough feat in slowing down the Marlin offense.
Taylor Long (.361, 4 HR, 20 RBI) is the top offensive threat for Franklin & Marshall as the team bats just .270 as a squad.
Randolph-Macon (33-9) vs. Averett (28-18)
The Yellow Jackets fell in a tough ODAC tournament field, but receive hosting duties after appearing in the national rankings for most of the season.
Candace Whittemore (21-4, 1.52 ERA) has started 21 of her team's 33 games in the circle and will play a pivotal role in the regional for the Yellow Jackets. She was runner-up to Hull in wins, and third in strikeouts (122).
Speed has been an asset to Randolph-Macon this year as Savannah Wood (.442, 27 R, 21 RBI) leads the squad with 28 steals. Shelby Hill and Kerstin Roth have 27 and 25 steals, respectively.
Averett claimed the USA South title with an 8-7 victory over Ferrum after trailing in the game 7-3 heading into the sixth inning.
The Cougars have a pair of pitchers they could call on as Taylor Bailey (12-8, 3.69 ERA) leads the team with 27 starts while Kaitlyn Aherron (15-8, 2.81 ERA) has arguably been more successful in the circle.
The offense is paced by a pair of power hitters in Jessica Long (.458, 5 HR, 35 RBI) and Aherron (.352, 7 HR, 62 RBI). Samantha Hall is one of the top stolen base threats in the country, stealing 48 bases on the year while Long has been successful in all of her 44 tries this season.
More information on game times and regional details will be announced as they becoming available this week.