SALEM, Va. --- Virginia Wesleyan University catcher Jessica Goldyn went 3-for-3 with a trio of extra-base hits and righty Emily Seale worked five scoreless frames to power the Marlins to a 3-0 victory over DePauw University in one winner's bracket semifinal at the 2021 NCAA Division III Softball Championship in Salem, Va., on Sunday afternoon.
The victory advances Virginia Wesleyan (44-5-1) to a best-of-three series for the Division III title on Monday and Tuesday at Salem's James I. Moyer Sports Complex. VWU, winners of the 2017 and 2018 D-III championships, will square off with Texas Lutheran University (35-4), the defending national champion after claiming the 2019 trophy. Games times are set for 3:00 p.m. ET on Monday for game one, while game two follows on Tuesday at 11:00 a.m. ET. If a third game is needed, that will be played at 1:30 p.m. ET or 45 minutes following the end of the second game on Tuesday, whichever is later.
Goldyn has been on a tear for Virginia Wesleyan. The ODAC Player of the Year and NFCA First Team All-American is 6-for-9 with a walk in Salem. She has doubled three times, tripled, and homered in addition to stealing a pair of bases to become the Division III single-season record holder with 71 swipes in 73 tries.
Seale got her first extended time in Salem against DePauw (40-5) after closing out Saturday's win over Birmingham-Southern College with an inning of work. The NFCA Third Team All-American surrendered four hits in her five scoreless frames against DePauw. The first-year hurler did not walk a batter and struck out one.
NCAA all-time career wins leader (130) Hanna Hull tossed the final two innings against the Tigers, striking out one without allowing a baserunner for her third save of the season.
Goldyn put the pedal down right away as Virginia Wesleyan's offense staked Seale to a 2-0 lead with a pair of runs in the bottom of the first inning. Goldyn led off with a double to left-center. Madison Glaubke walked and Julia Sinnett moved each Marlin up 60-feet with a sacrifice bunt. Two batters later, Katelyn Biando sent a flare to shallow center that DePauw's Abby Pyburn nearly snared with a diving effort. Instead, the ball hit the Moyer grass for a two-run single.
Seale, who retired the first four batters she faced, got a little help from Goldyn's arm behind the plate after the Tigers put two runners on via a single by Becca St. Germain and an infield error that allowed Skylar Barnett to reach safely. Goldyn gunned down pinch runner Olivia Jackson by several feet when she attempted to steal third. Seale then induced a ground ball to Sinnett at third to end the threat.
The power-bat in VWU's lead-off hitter came out in third inning. Goldyn led off the frame with a blast down the right-field line where the only doubt about it clearing the fence was whether it would stay fair. Goldyn's seventh round-tripper of the season proved to be the final tally of the contest.
Seale improved to 22-2 on the season. DePauw righty Cami Henry lost for just the second time this season -- both coming in Salem -- in falling to 24-2. She gave up three runs on six hits with a pair of walks and eight punchouts.
Goldyn added a second double in going 3-for-3 with two runs scored.