VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - The No.1 Virginia Wesleyan University softball team took its first loss in over a year as the squad split its doubleheader with No. 4 Randolph-Macon Wednesday afternoon at Marlin Park. The Marlins took game one, 2-1, in extras before dropping game two by the same score. With the results, VWU goes to 35-1 overall and 13-1 in conference action. Randolph-Macon moves to 31-3 on the season (10-2 ODAC).
GAME 1: VWU - 2 RMC - 1 (8 Inn.).
As they so often do, the Marlins got an early lead with a single run in the opening frame. Kiersten Richardson led off with a walk and got to second with a steal. After moving to third on a groundout, Cassetty Howerin doubled into left center, allowing Richardson to make it home.
It was a pitcher's duel after that, with neither team able to plate any runners over the next five innings. In the top of the what-would-be final frame though, the Yellow Jackets were able to tie it up with an unearned run, sending the game into extras.
In the eighth, the Marlins loaded the bags with just one out. Randolph-Macon negated a run with a play at the plate but one batter later, freshman Katelyn Biando knocked a ball into right field that brought in Richardson from third.
Hanna Hull tossed a complete game for the home side, allowing just two hits and punching out 15. With her third strike out of the game, the sophomore broke the ODAC record for most strikeouts in a career, passing the mark previously held by former VWU pitcher Brittaney Brown (381).
GAME 2: VWU - 1 RMC - 2
This game, the two teams exchanged runs the first inning as a long single scored a Yellow Jacket runner in the top of the frame. The Marlins mimicked their efforts in game one as Richardson was scored on a double from Howerin.
Mirroring game one, the team's then locked into a defensive standstill, going scoreless until the sixth inning as Randolph-Macon broke the tie with an RBI single.
Hull once again got the call in the circle, dealing the whole game and only allowing six total hits. Currently topping all Division III pitchers with 25 wins, the Chesterfield, Va. native took her first loss of the season.
Softball returns to action at 1 p.m. on Saturday as the team will travel to Bridgewater for another ODAC doubleheader.