VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – The No. 1 Virginia Wesleyan University softball team will be squaring off in the NCAA Division III Super Regional this weekend at Marlin Park on the campus of Virginia Wesleyan University. The squad will be hosting Berry College in a best-of-three series beginning with a single game to be played at 4 p.m. on Friday. Game two will take place at 2 p.m. on Saturday with game three (if necessary) coming directly after game two.
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LIVE STATS | VIDEO | ATHLETICS WEBSITE
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HOW WE GOT HERE: The Marlins are back to their second Super Regional in as many years, earning the right to host with sweep of the Regional Round. VWU travelled to Christopher Newport University for the four-team Regional last weekend, taking down Gettysburg College, 9-2, in their opening game. The squad then rallied to beat host CNU, 7-6, in extras on day two. The two teams then faced off for the Regional title, with VWU coming out on top 7-2.
HOWERIN'S HEATING UP: Senior Cassetty Howerin has been a staple for Coach Elliott over the past four years, making First Team All-Conference every season. This year has been no exception as the Dover, Del. native has come up clutch in big situations this year earning All-Tournament honors at the ODAC Championship and taking home the title of Most Valuable Player at the Regional. Howerin currently holds the ODAC record for RBI and walks, holds the VWU record for those two plus home runs and doubles and ranks second in Division III for career walks (127) and eighth for career RBI (213).
HOT AT HOME: The Marlins have had an outstanding record on their home turf, dropping just a single game there all season. The squad has amassed 116 runs at Marlin Park, allowing their opponents just 26 runs through 18 games. This year, VWU has also posted five shut outs at home as well as four double-digit run performances.
CRANKING THE RANKINGS: Virginia Wesleyan University has spent the entire year (and the final half of last season) as the National Fastpitch Coaches Association's top team in the nation and that has been no fluke. The squad has boasted one of the toughest schedule in all of the country, competing against 12 ranked teams this year and only faltering once.
HOPING HISTORY REPEATS: Last season was the first ever Super Regional Round for the VWU softball program. The Marlins shut out Kean University in straight games to clinch a bid to the DIII Collegiate World Series. Hanna Hull picked up both wins in the circle with complete game efforts. At the conclusion of the Super Regional Hull was named the Most Outstanding Pitcher while Jessica Lindsay earned Most Outstanding Player honors.
HOW BERRY GOT HERE: Berry (39-4) gained an automatic bid for the NCAA Championship after winning its conference (Southern Athletic Association) for the fourth-straight year. The Vikings then went to the nearby South Regional in Atlanta, Ga. where it downed Lynchburg in the opening game. Much like VWU, Berry then picked up two wins against the same team (Maryville) to claim the Regional title. This will mark the first time in the Viking's program history that a squad has made it to the Super Regional Round.