OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. (VWU Media Relations) – Freshman Hanna Hull faced senior Lindsay Thayer of St. John Fisher for the first time, winning the matchup of the top pitchers in the nation, dominating the Cardinals for a 5-0 victory in the first game of the NCAA Division III Softball Championship Series on Monday.
Hull came out on fire, not allowing a bit to St. John Fisher until one out in the bottom of the fourth. Hull finished with just one hit allowed in seven innings while striking out 13. She won her 32nd game of the year, extending an ODAC record for wins in a season.
The Virginia Wesleyan softball team got on the board against Thayer in the top of the third with one out when Kiersten Richardson reached on a bunt single before stealing second. Cassetty Howerin drove her home with a double to left field in an impressive 11-pitch at bat.
The Marlins tacked on another run in the top of the fifth when Blake Henderson drove a ball deep over the fence in center for a 2-0 margin.
Virginia Wesleyan chased Thayer from the game in the top of the seventh with three insurance runs. Madison Glaubke reached on a one-out walk, setting up Howerin for more heroics. The junior launched a 1-1 pitch deep over the right-center field wall for a 4-0 lead.
The Cardinals went to the bullpen after the home run, and back-to-back walks and an illegal pitch had the Marlins 60 feet from a fifth run. Megan Meindl got in a run down between first and second, allowing Henderson to race home.
Howerin finished 2-for-4 with a run and three RBI as Henderson scored two runs and drove in another.
The Marlins will face St. John Fisher again at 4:30 p.m. A win will secure the first National Championship for the softball team.