SALEM, Va. -- A waiting game begins now for the Virginia Wesleyan College softball Marlins.
After dropping two Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) tournament games for the first time since 2012, any additional competition this season for the Marlins is now in the hands of the NCAA tournament selection committee. Bids to the tournament will be issued in May.
For now however, the Marlins, who entered the ODAC tournament as the No. 1 seed, can only wonder about what did not happen. For the first time in back-to-back games this season, the offense did not produce consistently as the Marlins followed Friday's 2-0 loss to Randolph-Macon College with a 3-1 upset loss to Emory & Henry College's Wasps Saturday morning.
Virginia Wesleyan (29-6), currently ranked No. 5 nationally, took the lead against Emory & Henry (25-11) with a run in the bottom of the first inning. Courtney Bogan (Round Hill/Woodgrove) walked, stole second base, and scored on a single from rookie Cassity Howerin (Dover, Del./Caesar Rodney).
But, the Marlins managed only three hits through the next five innings, while Emory & Henry sparked enough offense to score three times to take the lead. The Wasps' big inning was the fourth when they belted out four hits to score twice.
Virginia Wesleyan used singles from Bogan and junior Kayla Malkos (Roanoke/Cave Spring), and a walk to Sami Pearce (Powhatan/Powhatan) to ignite a threat in the bottom of the seventh inning, but it collapsed without any scoring.
Both teams connected for seven hits. howerin led the Marlins with two, while Jordan Chrisley (Dublin/Pulaski County) and Hannan Bays (Abindgon/Abingdon) had two each for Emory & Henry.
Senior Mary Shipp (Virginia Beach/First Colonial) took the pitching loss for the Marlins and dropped to 13-3. She struck out three batters and gave up five hits in 4.2 innings. Senior Kristina Karagiorgis (Ashburn/Briarwoods) finished.
Taylor Banner (Castlewood/Castlewood) improved to 6-3 with the win, striking out one, walking three, and giving up seven hits. Brandy Bryant (Salem/Glenvar) closed and picked up her fourth save of the season.