VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. --- The No. 1-ranked Virginia Wesleyan College softball team opened up play in the Norfolk, Virginia Regional of the NCAA Division III Softball Tournament with a 2-0 loss to Saint Vincent College.
The Marlins put a runner in scoring position in each of the first six innings, but could not get an elusive run to cross the plate against Bearcat starter Samantha Emert, who with the win, has thrown 22-straight scoreless innings.
Virginia Wesleyan had a chance for an early run in the first but a heads-up play by Saint Vincent resulted in an out of Cassetty Howerin at home.
The Marlins attempted to race to another run in the third, but Courtney Bogan was thrown out on a close play at third base as the shortstop covered the bag on a wheel play.
VWC had its best chance to score in the sixth when Howerin singled up the middle. A pair of outs sandwiched a Kayla Dost walk, bringing Jessica Lindsay to the plate with two outs. She singled to third, loading the bases against Emert. The Bearcat hurler induced a groundout to third base to get out of the jam.
Kandis Kresinske carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning when Shelby Noel led off the frame with a single in the hole at shortstop. Emily Duerr doubled to left-center, sending Noel to third. An error in the outfield sent Noel racing home for the game's first score. Emert followed with a single up the middle that scored Duerr for the 2-0 edge.
Emert collected her first perfect frame in the bottom of the seventh, getting three straight groundouts to advance the Bearcats into the winners' bracket.
Emert (18-6) allowed four hits while walking five and striking out five in seven innings.
Kresinske (18-2) lost for the first time since February 20, surrendering two earned runs over seven innings while striking five and walking just one.
Saint Vincent (29-13) faces Haverford (25-19) at 11 a.m. Saturday while No. 1 Virginia Wesleyan (38-6) faces No. 2 Salisbury (34-5) at 1:30 p.m. with the season ending for the loser of that contest.
--- This release is courtesy of the Virginia Wesleyan College sports information department. ---