VIRGINIA BEACH, VA (WTKR)- Virginia Wesleyan softball has put together a dynasty. When it comes to national championships, the Marlins are making them more of a habit than a hope. If we're talking ODAC titles, it's been downright domination.
VWU topped Roanoke, 1-0, on Monday to claim its sixth consecutive ODAC crown. Emily Seale shut down the Maroons on the mound, tossing a complete game shutout and striking out four batters, including the final out of the game. Julia Sinnett tallied the contest's lone RBI.
"Each year you have women in your program who have never been a part of it," said VWU head coach Brandon Elliott. "You've got to remember how special that is for them and their parents and each team, so it never gets old."
"It was very exciting," added Sinnett, a fifth-year senior third baseman. "You've been there a couple of times and you think you get used to it, but I think every time that we've taken that title it's gotten more exciting."
The Marlins certainly have established themselves as the team to beat. Not only have they claimed the last six conference championships, but they've also won three of the last four national titles handed out, including in 2021. That's given them a reputation of being at the top of the mountain and getting everybody's best shot.
"I'd rather be the dog than have to beat the dog," Elliott pointed out, referencing a conversation with Marlins' men's basketball coach Dave Macedo. "That's just something that we've embraced and we'd love to have people chasing us. We don't want to be the chasing."
"We don't really care much about the pressure, we just know the talent and the skill that we have," Sinnett said. "We just try to compete that way and what happens happens."
Virginia Wesleyan is 33-11 on the season and has won eight of its last nine games. Obviously the play has been hot and the Marlins have added a conference title, but the scary thing for opponents is the fact that their best softball may still be in front of them, at least according to those in the locker room.
"We've gotten it here and there a couple games, but I think we're ready to pop out for sure," Sinnett observed.
"I think that we're still trying to work together and come together," added Seale, a sophomore pitcher. "We get better every game."
"The first part of the tournament, I think you saw the team that we can be," Elliott noted. "We've just got to maintain that consistency, especially on the defensive side of things."
Virginia Wesleyan will discover its NCAA Regional location, date and opponent on Monday during the NCAA Division III Softball Selection Show.