The Women’s Softball team beat Shenandoah University on Monday, April 29, in an 8-6 victory in the 2013 Old Dominion Athletic Conference championship game at the James I. Moyer Athletic Complex.
The Marlins and Hornets played a 19 inning game, which lasted for four hours and 45 minutes. The length of the game broke the ODAC record for the most innings played, which was last set in 2000 by Roanoke College and Wisconsin-Eau Claire in a 15-inning contest.
Women’s Head Softball Coach Brandon Elliott knew the length of the game could have easily gotten the best of his team.
“Obviously it is grueling in any sport to play such a long game,” said Elliott. “We basically played three games rolled into one.”
Senior second baseman Kelly Keys feels that her team did exceptionally well throughout the duration of the game.
“It was mentally as well as physically exhausting, but as a team we just had to tough it out,” said Keys.
Junior shortstop Andrea Shannon said that her coaches helped to keep the team’s morale up, despite the exhaustion from the game.
“Coach Elliott is our backbone,” she said.
Elliott provided support throughout the game, despite losing a comfortable lead in the 12th inning.
“We didn’t know the game was ours until the last inning was made,” said Elliott. “In the 12th inning we were up 6-2, but then they came back. Because of that we didn’t know when the game was going to end, but after we hit a home run in the 19th, we were pretty sure we were going to win.”
Although Coach Elliott was unsure about when or how the game would end, Keys felt confident as her team went into the last inning.
“At the beginning of the 19th inning, I said, ‘We’re ending this now!’” said Keys.
530 pitches, 32 hits and 153 plate appearances into the game, the Marlins claimed victory over the Shenandoah Hornets and brought home the Softball ODAC trophy.
“The credit for the game goes to the players,” said Elliott. “All of the work which they put into the offseason, and during the season, both physically and mentally, really paid off. We had one of the best bunches of dedicated girls ever.”
The team’s next stop is the Regionals in Roanoke, but they do not plan on stopping there.
“We are not done yet,” said Elliott. “This is just another step in the right direction on the road to win a national championship.”