No. 17 softball wins NCAA Virginia Beach Regional

Mackenzie Chitwood celebrates a home run in the NCAA softball championship

Virginia Beach, Va. -- Mackenzie Chitwood postponed her final exam in religion to travel with the University of Lynchburg softball team to the NCAA Division III Virginia Beach Regional.

Sunday, Lynchburg's senior first baseman preached in the church of the longball.

Chitwood homered three times as the Hornets topped two-time defending national champion and top-ranked Virginia Wesleyan twice, 7-4 and 4-2, to win the regional tournament and move on to the super-regional round for the second time in program history.

The Ferrum, Va., native won Most Outstanding Player honors for the tournament, and senior third baseman Taylor Mabry (Bassett, Va.), senior right-handed pitcher Taylor Belknap (Arden, N.C.) and sophomore right-handed pitcher Kayley Cox (Yorktown, Va.) earned spots on the all-tournament team.

Lynchburg took an early lead in the day's deciding second game thanks to a solo home run by Chitwood in the bottom of the first inning.

Virginia Wesleyan took the lead in the top of the sixth when Katelyn Biando singled in two runs, but the lead didn't last long.

The Hornets countered in the bottom half as rain began to fall on VWU's Broyles Field. Junior shortstop Kayla Hugate (Chesterfield, Va.) started the rally with a one-out walk, which Mabry followed with a single.

Chitwood then launched her second homer of the ballgame, this one to left-center field, to put the Hornets back on top.

After a walk to senior catcher Brittany Coffey (Manassas, Va.), the rain picked up, sending the game into a 20-minute delay before skies cleared.

VWU escaped the inning without further damage, but Belknap dodged a leadoff walk in the seventh to slam the door and earn the win in relief and set off the celebration.

In Game 1, the Marlins took a 1-0 lead in the first on Julia Sinnett's RBI double. After Kortney Leazer (Remington, Va.) and Carol Oberhelman (Washington Township, N.J.) reached on back-to-back errors to lead off the inning, Mabry slugged a three-run homer down the left-field line to put the Hornets up, 3-1.

Lynchburg added another run an inning later on Mabry's RBI single with two outs, and the Hornets made it a 6-1 lead in the sixth on back-to-back solo homers by Mabry and Chitwood.

Freshman designated player Haley Drew (Appomattox, Va.) added an RBI single in the seventh for a 7-1 Lynchburg lead.

The Marlins rallied in the seventh, bringing the tying run to the plate before Belknap induced the game-ending groundout. She tossed a complete game in the opening ballgame, allowing four runs, two earned, and striking out a pair of VWU hitters.

The first Lynchburg win broke the Hornets' 11-game losing skid against Virginia Wesleyan dating back to 2015.

Most impressively, both Sunday's wins came with VWU southpaw Hanna Hull in the circle. Hull was the national player of the year in 2017 and 2018 and is a three-time Old Dominion Athletic Conference pitcher of the year. She entered Sunday with an ERA under 0.40 and is the league's all-time leader in strikeouts and wins.

Chitwood's MOP honor came on the heels of a tournament in which she homered four times and drove in seven runs, slugging 1.125 over the five games. She broke the Old Dominion Athletic Conference's single-season RBI record with the three-run homer, bringing her to a Division III-best 69 for the year.

Mabry went 6-for-18 with two homers and seven RBI in the tournament. She had been 1-for-18 against Hull in her career prior to Sunday, but all three hits against the lefty loomed large in the deciding games.

Belknap tossed a team-high 20 ⅓ innings in the regional, compiling a 1.39 ERA and wins in both Sunday's games.

Cox, pitching through a rib injury throughout the weekend, was 2-0 with a 0.46 ERA in the tournament. She allowed just 10 hits in 15 ⅓ innings and struck out five.

Lynchburg will learn its NCAA super-regional fate in the coming days as the nation's other 15 regional tournaments wrap up. Check back with LynchburgSports.com for full details on the Division III softball tournament and Lynchburg's upcoming pairing.

--LYN--

Softball unveils 2019 schedule
September 13, 2018 Softball unveils 2019 schedule
No Event
No Event
No Event
No Event
Tue Apr 02
Final
0 Lynchburg
5 at No. 22 Washington and Lee
Tue Apr 02
Final
4 Ferrum
22 vs. Lynchburg
Wed Apr 03
Final
1 Lynchburg
8 at Guilford
Wed Apr 03
Final - 8 innings
7 Guilford
5 vs. No. 8 Lynchburg
Faculty/Staff Appreciation Day
Wed Apr 03
Final
5 No. 9 Randolph-Macon
10 vs. Lynchburg
Wed Apr 03
Final - 5 innings
1 Guilford
15 vs. No. 8 Lynchburg
Wed Apr 03
Final
10 Roanoke
11 vs. Lynchburg
Fri Apr 05
at Camp Lejeune Intercollegiate, Paradise Point GC, Camp Lejeune, N.C. -- Day 1
Fri Apr 05
at Colonial Relays
@ College of William & Mary, Williamsburg, Va.
Fri Apr 05
Final
10 Roanoke
18 vs. Lynchburg
CODE RED Game
Sat Apr 06
at Camp Lejeune Intercollegiate, Paradise Point GC, Camp Lejeune, N.C. -- Day 2
Sat Apr 06
at Colonial Relays
@ College of William & Mary, Williamsburg, Va.
Sat Apr 06
at IHSA Zones at University of Virginia
@ University of Virginia
Sat Apr 06
Final
6 Lynchburg
4 at Shenandoah
Sat Apr 06
Final
1 No. 2 Va. Wesleyan
0 vs. No. 8 Lynchburg
CODE RED Day | Ovarian Cancer Awareness Day
Sat Apr 06
Final
4 Ferrum
21 vs. Lynchburg
Sat Apr 06
Final
0 Lynchburg
6 at Va. Wesleyan
Sat Apr 06
Final
7 No. 2 Va. Wesleyan
2 vs. No. 8 Lynchburg
Sat Apr 06
Final
2 Lynchburg
3 at Shenandoah
Sun Apr 07
at Camp Lejeune Intercollegiate, Paradise Point GC, Camp Lejeune, N.C. -- Day 3
Tue Apr 09
Final
7 Lynchburg
2 at Randolph
Tue Apr 09
Final
6 Va. Wesleyan
4 vs. Lynchburg
Wed Apr 10
Final
12 Lynchburg
14 at Randolph-Macon
Note Date Change
Thu Apr 11
Final
1 Randolph
8 vs. Lynchburg
Senior Day
Thu Apr 11
Final
4 No. 19 Lynchburg
6 at Roanoke
Thu Apr 11
Final - 5 innings
13 No. 19 Lynchburg
0 at Roanoke
Fri Apr 12
Final
5 Lynchburg
0 at Sweet Briar
Sat Apr 13
at Randolph WildCat Invitational
@ Lynchburg, Va.
Sat Apr 13
6th/6
at ODAC Championships at Bridgewater
Sat Apr 13
Final
1 Guilford
3 vs. Lynchburg
Sat Apr 13
Final
20 No. 1 Washington and Lee
9 vs. Lynchburg
Senior Day | CODE RED Game
Sat Apr 13
Final
1 Guilford
4 vs. Lynchburg
Sat Apr 13
Final
4 Va. Wesleyan
23 vs. Lynchburg
40th Anniversary Celebration
Sun Apr 14
at Goucher Invitational, Hillendale CC, Phoenix, Md. -- Day 1
Mon Apr 15
2nd/7
at Goucher Invitational, Hillendale CC, Phoenix, Md. -- Day 2
Mon Apr 15
Final
3 East. Mennonite
8 vs. No. 19 Lynchburg
Senior Day | Moved from April 14
Mon Apr 15
Final
2 East. Mennonite
7 vs. No. 19 Lynchburg
Tue Apr 16
Final
10 Greensboro
2 vs. Lynchburg
Note time change
Wed Apr 17
Final
9 Lynchburg
0 at Shenandoah
Wed Apr 17
Final
6 Lynchburg
3 at Shenandoah
Wed Apr 17
Final
3 Lynchburg
11 at Hampden-Sydney
Wed Apr 17
Final
16 Lynchburg
0 at Randolph
Wed Apr 17
Final
19 No. 20 Lynchburg
6 at Randolph-Macon
Thu Apr 18
Final
7 Lynchburg
2 at Roanoke
Fri Apr 19
at ODAC Outdoor Championships
@ Randolph College, Lynchburg, Va.
Sat Apr 20
Women 1st/Men 3rd
at ODAC Outdoor Championships
@ Randolph College, Lynchburg, Va.
Sat Apr 20
Final
4 Bridgewater (Va.)
5 vs. Lynchburg
Senior Day
Sat Apr 20
Final - OT
9 No. 20 Lynchburg
10 at No. 18 Washington and Lee
Sat Apr 20
Final
17 Lynchburg
8 at Bridgewater (Va.)
Sat Apr 20
Final
3 Bridgewater (Va.)
2 vs. Lynchburg
Tue Apr 23
Final
3 Randolph-Macon
6 vs. Lynchburg
CODE RED Match
Tue Apr 23
Final
5 No. 22 Lynchburg
1 at Emory & Henry
Moved from April 20
Tue Apr 23
Final
13 Lynchburg
11 at No. 15 Randolph-Macon
Tue Apr 23
Final
1 No. 22 Lynchburg
3 at Emory & Henry
Moved from April 20
Wed Apr 24
Final
21 No. 20 Lynchburg
5 at Guilford
Note time change
Wed Apr 24
Final
9 Lynchburg
0 at Hollins
Rescheduled from April 13
Wed Apr 24
Final
6 Va. Wesleyan
19 vs. Lynchburg
Thu Apr 25
Final
2 Lynchburg
7 at Randolph-Macon
Fri Apr 26
Final
1 Va. Wesleyan
8 vs. Lynchburg
Senior Day | at Crosswhite Athletic Club | Note time change
Fri Apr 26
Final - 6 innings
0 Guilford
9 vs. No. 20 Lynchburg
@ Salem, Va. Game 4 - ODAC Tournament - Field 3
Sat Apr 27
Final
5 Lynchburg
6 at Roanoke
at Kiwanis Field
Sat Apr 27
Final
12 No. 20 Lynchburg
3 vs. Emory & Henry
@ Salem, Va. Game 8 - ODAC Tournament - Field 3
Sat Apr 27
Final - 11 innings
7 Lynchburg
10 at Roanoke
at Kiwanis Field
Sat Apr 27
Final
20 Lynchburg
5 at Guilford
Sat Apr 27
Final
3 Randolph-Macon
1 vs. No. 20 Lynchburg
@ Salem, Va. Game 11 - ODAC Tournament - Field 1
Sat Apr 27
Final
10 Hampden-Sydney
20 vs. No. 20 Lynchburg
Senior Night
Sun Apr 28
at Old Dominion Athletic Conference Championship, Bryan Park GC, Greensboro, N.C. -- Day 1
Sun Apr 28
Final
3 No. 20 Lynchburg
7 vs. No. 1 Va. Wesleyan
@ Salem, Va. Game 13 - ODAC Tournament - Field 1
Mon Apr 29
at Old Dominion Athletic Conference Championship, Bryan Park GC, Greensboro, N.C. -- Day 2
Tue Apr 30
6th/12
at Old Dominion Athletic Conference Championship, Bryan Park GC, Greensboro, N.C. -- Day 3
Tue Apr 30
Final
0 Lynchburg
5 at Hampden-Sydney
Match 3 - ODAC Quarterfinals
Tue Apr 30
Final
12 Lynchburg
6 at Greensboro
Wed May 01
at Liberty Twilight Qualifier
@ Lynchburg, Va.
Wed May 01
Final
0 Bridgewater (Va.)
5 vs. Lynchburg
Match 3 - ODAC Quarterfinals
Wed May 01
Final
12 Shenandoah
11 vs. Lynchburg
Game 1 - ODAC First Round
Fri May 03
Final - 12 innings
1 Lynchburg
2 at Roanoke
ODAC First-Round | Game 1
Sat May 04
Final
11 Hampden-Sydney
20 vs. No. 20 Lynchburg
Game 4 - ODAC Semifinals | Moved from May 3 | Note location change
Sat May 04
Final
2 Randolph-Macon
5 vs. Lynchburg
@ Everett Tennis Center | Virginia Wesleyan University Match 6 - ODAC Semifinals
Sun May 05
Final
0 Lynchburg
5 vs. No. 23 Washington and Lee
@ Folkes-Stevens Tennis Center (indoor) at Old Dominion University Match 7 - ODAC Championship
Sun May 05
Final
7 No. 20 Lynchburg
8 at No. 17 Washington and Lee
Game 5 - ODAC Championship
Sun May 05
Final
11 Roanoke
3 vs. Lynchburg
ODAC First Round | Game 2
Wed May 08
Final
5 Transylvania
15 vs. No. 19 Lynchburg
NCAA Tournament -- Second Round
Fri May 10
Final - 12 innings
5 No. 13 Manhattanville
6 vs. No. 17 Lynchburg
@ Virginia Wesleyan University, Virginia Beach, Va. NCAA Tournament - Virginia Beach Regional
Sat May 11
Final
0 No. 17 Lynchburg
1 at No. 1 Va. Wesleyan
NCAA Tournament - Virginia Beach Regional
Sat May 11
Final
4 No. 17 Lynchburg
1 vs. No. 13 Manhattanville
@ Virginia Wesleyan University, Virginia Beach, Va. NCAA Tournament - Virginia Beach Regional
Sat May 11
Final
10 No. 19 Lynchburg
18 at No. 2 Salisbury
NCAA Tournament - Third Round
Sun May 12
at VCU Ram Invitational
@ Richmond, Va.
Sun May 12
Final
7 No. 17 Lynchburg
4 at No. 1 Va. Wesleyan
NCAA Tournament - Virginia Beach Regional
Sun May 12
Final
2 No. 1 Va. Wesleyan
4 vs. No. 17 Lynchburg
@ Virginia Wesleyan University, Virginia Beach, Va. NCAA Tournament - Virginia Beach Regional
Mon May 13
at Swarthmore Twilight
@ Swarthmore, Pa.
Fri May 17
Final
2 No. 18 Emory
7 vs. No. 17 Lynchburg
NCAA Tournament - Lynchburg Super Regional - Game 1
Sat May 18
Final
9 No. 18 Emory
5 vs. No. 17 Lynchburg
NCAA Tournament - Lynchburg Super Regional - Game 2
Sat May 18
Final
10 No. 18 Emory
8 vs. No. 17 Lynchburg
NCAA Tournament - Lynchburg Super Regional - Game 3
Thu May 23
at NCAA Division III Outdoor Championships
@ Geneva, Ohio
No Event
No Event
View Full Schedule
No Event
No Event
No Event
No Event
Wed Apr 03
Final
5 No. 9 Randolph-Macon
10 vs. Lynchburg
Sat Apr 06
Final
6 Lynchburg
4 at Shenandoah
Sat Apr 06
Final
2 Lynchburg
3 at Shenandoah
Tue Apr 09
Final
6 Va. Wesleyan
4 vs. Lynchburg
Sat Apr 13
Final
1 Guilford
3 vs. Lynchburg
Sat Apr 13
Final
1 Guilford
4 vs. Lynchburg
Tue Apr 16
Final
10 Greensboro
2 vs. Lynchburg
Note time change
Wed Apr 17
Final
3 Lynchburg
11 at Hampden-Sydney
Sat Apr 20
Final
4 Bridgewater (Va.)
5 vs. Lynchburg
Senior Day
Sat Apr 20
Final
3 Bridgewater (Va.)
2 vs. Lynchburg
Tue Apr 23
Final
13 Lynchburg
11 at No. 15 Randolph-Macon
Sat Apr 27
Final
5 Lynchburg
6 at Roanoke
at Kiwanis Field
Sat Apr 27
Final - 11 innings
7 Lynchburg
10 at Roanoke
at Kiwanis Field
Tue Apr 30
Final
12 Lynchburg
6 at Greensboro
Fri May 03
Final - 12 innings
1 Lynchburg
2 at Roanoke
ODAC First-Round | Game 1
Sun May 05
Final
11 Roanoke
3 vs. Lynchburg
ODAC First Round | Game 2
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