VIRGINIA BEACH -- It was unusually cold afternoon at a sun-drenched Marlins Field, but the Virginia Wesleyan College softball team remained hot on Sunday, sweeping Shenandoah University's Hornets in an Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) doubleheader.
The Marlins won for the sixth straight game and extended a streak of five-inning victories to three in a row as they opened with a 9-0 win over the Hornets and closed with a 11-1 win. The fourth sweep of the season improved Virginia Wesleyan's overall record to 18-4 and its ODAC mark to 8-2.
VWC's defense and pitching limited the Hornets (5-15, 3-7) to just four hits through the two games. Senior Kristina Karagiorgis (Ashburn/Briarwoods)won for the ninth straight time in 11 contests, struck out nine batters and allowing just one hit. Karagiorgis, who ranked eighth in recent NCAA statistics for total strikeouts, increased her season accumulation to 89.
Junior Mary Shipp (Virginia Beach/First Colonial) improved to 8-2 in the pitching circle, striking out six and allowing a walk and two hits in four innings. Sophomore Kasey Newcomb (Henderson, N.C./Creedmor South Granville) threw in the last inning and allowed nothing.
Pitching was complemented by timely hitting, led by sophomore Liz Bailey (Chesapeake/Greenbrier Christian) and rookie Cassety Howerin (Dover, Del./Caesar Rodney), who were both 4-for-5 through the two games. Bailey came through with a double and a home run, both in the first game, and finished with six runs-batted-in. Howerin added a double in the openr.
Junior Kayla Malkos (Roanoke/Cave Spring) finished 3-for-3 in the two games, and produced three stolen bases, and junior Courtney Bogan (Round Hill/Woodgrove) hit 2-for-4 and accumulated four steals, including three in the second game.
The Marlins led from the start in both games, using a three-run second inning and a four-run third, to pull away in the first game. VWC led just 1-0 after two innings in the second game, but put the game away with a 10-run third inning. Junior Kayla Dost (Bristow/Nokesville Brentsville), Bogan, Malkos, Bailey, and Howerin all stroked a single each in the big inning that included a pair of Shenandoah errors.
Lindsay Corbin led SU hitting in the second game with a home run. Kimberly Brady connected for the Hornets' only single in the opener.
Virginia Wesleyan returns to competition on Friday, April 3, when the Marlins host the Eagles of Bridgewater College in an ODAC doubleheader beginning at 2 p.m.