No. 17 softball stays alive, earns Simmons' 600th win

Photo of head coach Dawn Simmons during a game

Virginia Beach, Va. -- Of course number 600 wouldn't come easy.

None of the milestone victories ever do.

But the University of Lynchburg softball team battled the stress of extra innings the day before, a hard-fought loss earlier Saturday and a two-hour rain delay to beat No. 13 Manhattanville, 4-1, in a loser-out NCAA tournament game, sealing the 600th-career victory for Hornets head coach Dawn Simmons.

For Simmons, who took over the softball program at her alma mater in 1999, the milestone was especially sweet because of the scenario: A win-or-go-home game in the national tournament.

She took time to reflect on the last 21 seasons as the Hornets soaked up their second victory of the Virginia Beach Regional.

"It's always been home to me," Simmons said of Lynchburg. "A lot of great players have come through the program, and I'm fortunate to have the players' and coaching staffs' help through the years."

Saturday, it was stellar pitching and defense from the Hornets that earned the win.

Sophomore right-hander Kayley Cox (Yorktown, Va.), battling a painful rib injury, went the distance, scattering four Valiants hits in the 78-pitch effort. Her lone strikeout ended the ballgame.

"Once I got out there, my adrenaline was going, and I was thinking about the game," Cox said of pitching through the painful rib injury.

Lynchburg got Cox a comfortable lead in the second inning. Sophomore center fielder Haylee Wood (Goode, Va.) started the rally with a one-out walk and stole second.

With the bases loaded, junior left fielder Carol Oberhelman (Washington Township, N.J.) slugged a ball into the left-center field gap, scoring Wood for the game's first run. Manhattanville cut down a baserunner at the plate to limit the damage, but two batters later, senior third baseman Taylor Mabry (Bassett, Va.) ripped a two-run single up the middle to make it 3-0 in Lynchburg's favor.

Senior catcher Brittany Coffey (Manassas, Va.) brought in the Hornets' fourth run when she was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.

"Especially with the weather coming in, it was a big deal for us to get on top, because you didn't know what was going to happen," Oberhelman said.

Meanwhile in the circle, Cox rolled. She set down MC in order the first time through the order, but a leadoff single in the fourth broke up the perfect-game bid. She rebounded to retire the next six hitters before lightning forced the game into a delay.

When the skies cleared two hours later, Simmons stuck with the sophomore in the circle.

"I had a feeling that no matter what, she was going to be ready to go," the coach said.

Cox said the injury bothered her more after the delay.

"It made me get really tight, and it started to hurt pretty bad," she admitted, "but I was able to work through it."

She worked a perfect sixth, but the Valiants rallied in the bottom of the seventh with back-to-back singles.

After a sparkling running catch in foul ground by Oberhelman in left and a fielder's choice that brought Manhattanville to its final out, left fielder Jordyn Boyd hit an RBI single to left-center to cut the score to 4-1.

Cox locked back in to strike Sophia Chapelone out looking to end the ballgame and keep Lynchburg's season alive.

The 17th-ranked Hornets improved to 34-13 with the victory, but their road to the super-regional round remains difficult. Lynchburg will need to beat top-ranked and two-time defending national champion Virginia Wesleyan twice Sunday to advance.

Fresh off the milestone win, Simmons believes her team is up to the task.

"We're not ready to be done," she said.

First pitch Sunday at Virginia Wesleyan's Broyles Field is scheduled for 11 a.m.

Please continue to check LynchburgSports.com or email and text updates for potential scheduling changes as weather looks to be a factor through the weekend.

--LYN--

Softball unveils 2019 schedule
September 13, 2018 Softball unveils 2019 schedule
Fri Jan 17
at VMI Keydet Invitational -- Day 1
Virginia Military Institute, Lexington, Va.
Fri Jan 17
6 p.m.
Lynchburg
at Hampden-Sydney
Men's team only
Sat Jan 18
at VMI Keydet Invitational -- Day 2
Virginia Military Institute, Lexington, Va.
Sat Jan 18
2:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Va. Wesleyan
Sat Jan 18
2:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Emory & Henry
Wed Jan 22
7:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Ferrum
Wed Jan 22
7:00 PM
Ferrum
vs. Lynchburg
Coaches vs. Cancer Week
Fri Jan 24
at Finn Pincus Invite -- Day 1
Roanoke College, Salem, Va.
Sat Jan 25
at Finn Pincus Invite -- Day 2
Roanoke College, Salem, Va.
Sat Jan 25
1 p.m.
Lynchburg
at Ferrum
View Full Schedule
Fri Feb 14
6:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Huntingdon
Huntingdon Tournament
Sat Feb 15
12:00 PM
Lynchburg
vs. Emory
@ Montgomery, Ala. Huntingdon Tournament
Sun Feb 16
1:00 PM
Lynchburg
vs. Millsaps
@ Montgomery, Ala. (Huntingdon College) Huntingdon Tournament
Wed Feb 19
2:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Averett
Sat Feb 22
5:00 PM
Penn St.-Abington
vs. Lynchburg
@ Fayetteville, N.C. Methodist Invitational
Sat Feb 22
5:00 PM
Manhattanville
vs. Lynchburg
@ Fayetteville, N.C. Methodist Invitational
Sun Feb 23
2:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Methodist
Methodist Invitational
Wed Feb 26
3:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Greensboro
Sat Feb 29
12:00 PM
York (Pa.)
vs. Lynchburg
Sat Feb 29
3:00 PM
York (Pa.)
vs. Lynchburg
Sun Mar 01
12:00 PM
York (Pa.)
vs. Lynchburg
Tue Mar 03
2:00 PM
Averett
vs. Lynchburg
Sat Mar 07
12:00 PM
Washington and Lee
vs. Lynchburg
Sat Mar 07
3:00 PM
Washington and Lee
vs. Lynchburg
No Event
View Full Schedule
No Event
No Event
No Event
No Event
Sun Dec 01
Final
81 Lynchburg
68 at Bridgewater (Va.)
Wed Dec 04
Final
73 Lynchburg
78 at Ferrum
Sat Dec 07
Final
51 East. Mennonite
90 vs. Lynchburg
Wed Dec 11
Final
61 Lynchburg
42 at Averett
Wed Jan 01
Final - OT
85 William Peace
79 vs. Lynchburg
Sat Jan 04
Final
74 Va. Wesleyan
76 vs. Lynchburg
Wed Jan 08
Final
82 Lynchburg
69 at Randolph
Wed Jan 15
Final
51 Hampden-Sydney
76 vs. Lynchburg
Sat Jan 18
2:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Emory & Henry
Wed Jan 22
7:00 PM
Ferrum
vs. Lynchburg
Coaches vs. Cancer Week
Sat Jan 25
2:00 PM
Washington and Lee
vs. Lynchburg
Alumni Day | Coaches vs. Cancer Week
Wed Jan 29
7:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Roanoke
Sat Feb 01
2:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Va. Wesleyan
Wed Feb 05
7:00 PM
Randolph
vs. Lynchburg
Sat Feb 08
2:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Randolph-Macon
Wed Feb 12
7:00 PM
Guilford
vs. Lynchburg
CODE RED Game
Sat Feb 15
2:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Shenandoah
Wed Feb 19
7:30 PM
Roanoke
vs. Lynchburg
Senior Night
No Event
No Event
No Event
View Full Schedule
No Event
No Event
No Event
Wed Dec 04
Final
58 Lynchburg
49 at Randolph
Sat Dec 07
Final
67 Emory & Henry
56 vs. Lynchburg
CODE RED Game
Fri Dec 20
Final
70 Lynchburg
26 vs. Hood
@ Daytona Beach, Fla. - Ocean Center Daytona Beach Shootout
Sat Dec 21
Final
60 No. 18 Marymount
56 vs. Lynchburg
@ Daytona Beach, Fla. - Ocean Center Daytona Beach Shootout
Thu Jan 02
Final
53 Lynchburg
75 at Randolph-Macon
Sat Jan 04
Final
54 Johns Hopkins
49 vs. Lynchburg
Tue Jan 07
Final
46 Guilford
50 vs. Lynchburg
Sat Jan 11
Final
55 Lynchburg
64 at Shenandoah
Note time change
Wed Jan 15
Final
69 Washington and Lee
60 vs. Lynchburg
Sat Jan 18
2:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Va. Wesleyan
Wed Jan 22
7:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Ferrum
Sat Jan 25
4:30 PM
Bridgewater (Va.)
vs. Lynchburg
Alumnae Day
Wed Jan 29
7:00 PM
Hollins
vs. Lynchburg
Wed Feb 05
7:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Roanoke
Sat Feb 08
4:30 PM
Lynchburg
at Guilford
Tue Feb 11
7:00 PM
Va. Wesleyan
vs. Lynchburg
Sat Feb 15
4:30 PM
Lynchburg
at Bridgewater (Va.)
Wed Feb 19
5:00 PM
Ferrum
vs. Lynchburg
Play4Kay Game
Sat Feb 22
2:00 PM
Randolph-Macon
vs. Lynchburg
Thu Feb 27
TBA
TBD
vs. Lynchburg
@ Salem Civic Center, Salem, Va. ODAC Quarterfinal
Sat Feb 29
TBA
TBD
vs. Lynchburg
@ Salem Civic Center, Salem, Va. ODAC Semifinal
Sun Mar 01
TBA
TBD
vs. Lynchburg
@ Salem Civic Center, Salem, Va. ODAC Championship
View Full Schedule
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