NCAA Tourney host Virginia-Wesleyan reeled off seven runs in the first two frames, holding on for a 9-3 win over the College of Staten Island in the NCAA Division III Women’s Softball Regional held at UVW’s campus this afternoon. The double-elimination tournament loss puts CSI on the brink of elimination, and the team will play again tomorrow to try and stay alive. The win lifted the Marlins to 38-5 overall, while the Dolphins dipped to 23-16.

The tough start today doomed the Dolphins. After leaving a runner on base in the top of the first, UVW blasted off four runs in the bottom of the frame against freshman hurler Jacqueline Cautela. Tori Higginbotham got things started by being plunked with a pitch and then stole second and third base before coming home on a Kayla Dost single. With two runners on base later in the frame, Season Dailey belted a two-RBI single to make it 3-0, and before CSI could get out of the jam, Dailey scored on a Lindsey Inzana double.

CSI left another runner on in the second and the home squad went right back to work, scoring a three-spot in the second, highlighted by a Higginbotham homerun and a two-RBI single by Inzana.

The Dolphins showed signs of life, however, in the third frame, scoring a pair off of UVW starter Mackenzie Creech. Alyssa Setteducato and Cautela started with singles, and Setteducato advanced all the way home on a wild pitch. Cautela took third on a ground ball and then came in to score via a throwing error. It wasn’t pretty, but the Dolphins cut the lead to 7-2.

From there, the offense calmed a bit until UVW again capitalized in the 5th with two runs, chasing Cautela in favor of Victoria Procopio. Creech Was in control but the Dolphins touched the Marlins for another run in the top of the seventh, again via an error, part of two on the day for the Marlins. Only one of the runs CSI scored was earned against Creech, who went the distance for the win, yielding eight hits while fanning one. Cautela took the loss, allowing nine runs on 11 hits, walking three. UVW out-hit the Dolphins, 11-8. Procopio scored two hits for the Dolphins to lead the team at the dish, while Dost and Inzana finished with two hits apiece.

CSI will now match up against Catholic University of America, tomorrow afternoon at 1pm in the Regional’s first elimination game. UVW will play in the winner’s bracket Final at 3:30pm against Christopher Newport University.