Senior third baseman Taylor Mabry runs into home base with her team awaiting her arrival in their win against Emory & Henry College in the ODAC tournament in Salem, Va. on Saturday, April 27, 2019. Photo retrieved from the Lynchburg Sports Website and taken by a member of the Lynchburg Hornets Sports Network (LHSN) staff.
Caitlin Dorsch ~ Copy Desk Chief
On Sunday, April 28, 2019, the number 20 nationally-ranked University of Lynchburg softball team was defeated by the number one nationally-ranked Virginia Wesleyan University team in the semifinals of the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) tournament for the championship title. Although the team lost by a final score of three to seven and did not receive an automatic bid into the NCAA Division III national tournament, the Lady Hornets still have a possibility to make it.
The Lady Hornets, who have 32 wins and 12 losses on the season, must now wait until Monday, May 1, 2019 at 1:00 p.m. to find out if they received a bid into the NCAA Division III national tournament following debate by the NCAA Division III tournament selection committee.
“The team did not go down without a fight on Sunday,” said senior pitcher Taylor Belknap.
The team started out strong with senior first baseman Mackenzie Chitwood’s home run that lead to two runs being scored. This was her seventeenth home run of the season, tying the single season program record set in 2006.
When the Virginia Wesleyan University team began to make a comeback, the Lady Hornets fought back. Sophomore pitcher Kayley Cox retried eight Virginia Wesleyan University batters, and sophomore right fielder Kortney Leazer battled her way to second base to leadoff the fourth inning for the Lady Hornets. Unfortunately, the Lady Hornets ended up being short in the end.
Chitwood remarked, “We are not done yet. We have worked so hard to get to this point, and we know that we can do great things in the tournament. We have a strong culture that will lead us far into the tournament, and we just hope we get a chance to show it.”
To see the fate of your Lady Hornets, please tune into the NCAA Division III softball tournament selection show on Monday, May 1, 2019 at 1:00 p.m.