SALEM, Va. - They're bringing the beach another piece of hardware.
Tuesday, the Virginia Wesleyan University softball team (46-6-1) won the 2021 NCAA Division III softball national title. It's the program's third title in five years after winning the crown in both 2017 and 2018.
There were no NCAA spring championships conducted in 2020 due to COVID-19. In 2019, Texas Lutheran won the NCAA title. Tuesday, the Marlins eliminated TLU with a 9-1 run-rule victory to win the Division III crown.
Only three other programs (The College of New Jersey 6, Central 4, Eastern Connecticut State 4) have more than three NCAA Division III softball national titles.
🏆 National Champs 🏆— Adam Winkler (@AdamWink) June 1, 2021
The @vwu_marlins beat Texas Lutheran to win the @NCAADIII softball NATIONAL TITLE
It’s the 3rd #NCAA softball title for @VWUSOFTBALL & @ElliottSaysWhat in 5 years
Sights + sounds tonight on @WTKR3 https://t.co/bhtsl15OeL pic.twitter.com/cqmhFeZxoE
The Marlins scored two runs in the bottom of the first to take a 2-0 lead over the Bulldogs. The first of two runs came on a solo shot over the left field fence by Jessica Goldyn, while Madison Glaubke scored the second on a throwing error by the shortstop.
After a scoreless second inning, the Marlins found a trio of runs in the bottom of the third and fourth innings to go ahead by eight runs heading into the top of the fifth.
Two of VWU's three runs in the third came off the bat of Katelyn Biando who singled up the middle to drive in Goldyn and Julia Sinnett, while Biando came home a few batters later on a single to left from Julie Fassl putting the score at 5-0.
Ariana Rolle scored the first of the three runs in the fourth inning after Sinnett reached on a fielders choice as the Bulldogs tried to get Rolle out at home but the catcher bobbled the ball. The other two runs scored on a Danielle Stewart homer to left center field that scored Goldyn on the play.
TLU broke the eight run lead by VWU scoring a single run in the top of the fifth on a sac fly, but Virginia Wesleyan responded in the bottom of the fifth with a walk off single to right field by Rolle that scored Krissy D'Arco putting the Marlins ahead 9-1 to win the 2021 NCAA Division III Championship.