TUCSON, Az. - It was two very different games, but the result was the same as the Virginia Wesleyan University softball team picked up two wins at the Nation Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Leadoff Classic in Tucson Az. on Friday. The squad took down William Paterson University, 16-4, before defeating #17 Moravian College, 2-1, in extra innings.
GAME 1: VWU 16 WPU 4 (5 inn.)
The offense flourished in game one of the tournament as right off the bat, Amy Large registered a grand slam in the top of the first to put the Marlins up four early. In the following inning, three more were tacked on beginning with a Cassetty Howerin double that scored Kiersten Richardson. Large then did it again, this time with a two run shot to increase the VWU lead to 7-0 after two.
The runs kept coming as the next inning a Maria Weddle single into center scored Katelyn Biando from second. Weddle's freshman classmate Daja Burgee got into the action in the fourth as she notched her first career dinger, plating two. In what would be the final inning, the team tacked on six more insurance run including an RBI single from Julia Sinnett and another grand slam, this time for Richardson.
Pitching duties were split with Alana Peters dealing the first three innings, picking up four strikeouts, no earned runs and the win. She was relieved by Carla Hull, who hurled the last two innings.
GAME 2: VWU 2 MC 1 (8 inn.)
After a Greyhound solo home run opened up the game, both teams bats went cold. The Marlins would remain down, 1-0, until the final inning when the squad needed to put at least one run on the board to keep their record unblemished. They did just that as Jessica Lindsey started the frame with a one-out single. Biando would pinch run for her and move to second as Julia Sinnett reached on an error. Beth Ford then loaded the bases with a single. After another out, Madison Glaubke pushed home the tying run as an error from the third basemen gave her first.
There was plenty of pressure in the nationally-ranked match up going into extras as tournament rules stated that the teams begin each inning following the seventh with a runner on second base. The Marlin defense took care of the top of the inning, as Moravian went three up-three down. In the bottom of the frame, Amy Large led off with a groundout that pushed Howerin (who started on second due to the extra inning rule) to third. Freshman Kerrigan Simpson then doubled to bring the winning run home.
Hanna Hull collected her sixth win of the year from the circle, allowing only a single hit and striking out 10.
Softball gets right back into things on Saturday as the Marlins take on #13 East Texas Baptist University followed by a contest against Birmingham-Southern College.