OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. - The No. 1 Virginia Wesleyan University softball team shut out Ithaca College, 6-0, in the first game of the NCAA Division III Softball Championship played at the USA Softball Hall of Fame Stadium Thursday afternoon. With the win the Marlins, move to 51-2 on the year and move into the tournament's winner's bracket.
Hanna Hull stole the show for the Marlins as the sophomore held the Bombers hitless throughout the entire game. Hull racked up 12 strikeouts and, with the help of some solid defense, picked up her second no-hitter of the year.
Both teams went scoreless through the first three frames, but an unconventional bottom of the fourth broke the standstill. Jessica Lindsay and Julia Sinnett led the side off with walks and Maria Weddle loaded the bags as a throwing error gave her first. Kiersten Richardson then took a ball off the shoulder to earn an easy RBI. Two more bases-loaded walks later in the inning would give the Marlins a 3-0 lead. During this frame, Cassetty Howerin also broke the NCAA Division III record for walks in a career (132).
In the fifth, the top seeded Marlins doubled their lead. Amy Large earned a walk and was moved to second on a Sinnett single to center. Weddle was then plunked to load the bases for Beth Ford, whose groundout allowed Large to reach. One batter later, with the bases reloaded, Madison Glaubke knocked a ball into center that plated two more.
Softball will now play the winner of the MIT and Luther College game at 7 p.m. (8 p.m. EST) on Friday.