DePauw softball finishes tied for third with Va. Wesleyan loss
SALEM, VA — There wasn’t to be a third comeback this week for DePauw’s softball team as the Tigers saw their season come to an end Sunday with a 3-0 loss to Virginia Wesleyan.
With the win, the Marlins moved on to the NCAA Division III Finals against Texas Lutheran, pitting the two schools with the last three Division III softball titles against one another.
DePauw, meanwhile, finished tied for third, the highest placement in school history, while tying the school record for wins with a 40-5 mark.
“We’ll feel a little better about this in a couple of days,” DePauw softball head coach Erica Hanrahan said in the post game news conference. “Putting this in perspective, with everything that’s gone on in the world with the pandemic, we’re lucky and grateful to have been able to compete.
“To finish third in the country is an honor.”
“It stings a lot right now,” DePauw catcher and senior Becca St. Germain added. “Everyone wants to go out on a win but I couldn’t ask for a better team.
“The teams we played against were very respectful and great teams. It’s stings right now but we’ll be able to see the bright side in a couple of days.”
Virginia Wesleyan got off to a quick start when Jessica Goldyn doubled to lead off the bottom of the first, Madison Glaubke drew a walk and, after both runners moved up a base, scored when Katelyn Biando dropped a fly ball just short of running and diving Caleigh Cramer in center field.
Goldyn provided the other big blow with a solo home run in the bottom of the third inning to make it 3-0.
The Tigers’ best chances for runs came in the second and fourth inning.
St. Germain singled with one out and Skylar Barnett reached on an error.
Both batters had pinch runners attempt a double steal but the lead runner was thrown out and a groundout ended the threat.
In the fourth, Paige Price doubled but was left stranded after a pair of fly ball outs.
Cami Henry kept the game close after the first few inning, striking out eight batters while scattering three hits in the four non-scoring innings.
“With Cami, she always finds a way to settle in,” Hanrahan said about the junior after the first inning. “I’ll take the heat for the outfielders playing back as (Virginia Wesleyan) can hit the ball hard and but that one was just out of reach over our infield.
“It was a tough one and a gamble either way. She did a great job and the team did everything they could; they just had more juice at the right time.
“They got runs in with two outs and (Goldyn) got the home run,” Hanrahan added. “We just couldn’t string the hits together.
Marlin starter Emily Seale worked out of any danger while Hanna Hull nailed down a six-out save to close the game.
St. Germain was one of four seniors playing in their final game along with Barnett, Olivia Jackson and Kaylyn Linder with the quarter getting the chance to play in the championships for the first time.
“It was exciting,” St. Germain said about the experience of playing in the championships. “I couldn’t ask for a better group of girls to play with.
“Normally, I know what to expect when we get to games but these were exciting games that we played in. That was what was great about being here.”
DePauw reached the final four after defeating St. Thomas Saturday, just after taking its first loss of the championships to Texas Lutheran. The Tigers defeated Wisconsin Oshkosh Thursday to begin the tournament.
Both wins had comeback elements to them with the game against the Tommies on Saturday nearly the last outing for the team if not for a last inning home run.
“I was stringing hits together but always thinking that those at-bats could be my last ones,” St. Germain said when asked about the comeback win against St. Thomas. “If it wasn’t for Kelsey (Berhnard), we wouldn’t have been where we were today. We came more alive in the second half of that game.”
While heavy with underclassmen who could use the run to springboard themselves into the 2022 season, Hanrahan cautioned against looking too far forward, preferring to enjoy the moment with the squad in Salem this week.
“I’ve been in this long enough to know what every year is a different team,” Hanrahan said when asked how the program could build off the success of 2021. “We could have gone out a million different times but these girls are fighters.
“Every group is different. There are girls that may choose not to play and new freshmen that will come in, so I will always remember this team as there is no guarantee of things next year.
“I will be grateful for this group and all they sacrificed during this pandemic year to do something special,” Hanrahan added. “They’re fighters and they’ve set a new standard for DePauw softball.
“These seniors are special leaders and people and we couldn’t have done this without them.”
DePauw 000 000 0 — 0 4 0
Va. Wesleyan 201 000 X — 0 6 1
WP — Seale (22-2) 5 IP, 4 H, K
LP — Henry (24-2) 6 IP, 3 R (3 ER), 2 BB, 8 K
S — Hull (3) 2 IP, K
HR — Goldyn
2B — Price; Goldyn
RBI — Biando (2), Goldyn