NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (Release via CNU Athletics)- Christopher Newport University will host Virginia Wesleyan University in a best-of-three Super Regional at Captains Park as the NCAA Division III Softball Tournament continues this Friday and Saturday, May 20 and 21. The Captains and Marlins each advanced by winning regionals over the weekend.

The Hampton Roads rivals will play a single game on Friday at Captains Park with first pitch set for 2:00 p.m. The teams will meet again on Saturday at 1:00 p.m. and, if necessary, will play again at 3:30 p.m. The winner of the Super Regional will advance to play in Salem, Va., in the national finals.

Christopher Newport and Virginia Wesleyan met just once this year, and the Captains registered a 6-1 victory over the Marlins on March 23rd in Virginia Beach. The second game of the scheduled doubleheader was postponed by rain. The schools have met 87 times in a long-running rivalry dating back to 1985. The Marlins hold a 49-38 advantage in the all-time series.

The Captains are now 40-1 and have won 17 straight games heading into the Super Regionals. CNU has been the top-ranked team in the country for the last eight weeks, and the Captains are 24-0 at home. Keith Parr‘s squad did not allow a run in three victories over the weekend, as the top-ranked Captains wrapped up the four-team regional at Captains Park Sunday with a 3-0 triumph over Messiah University.

Virginia Wesleyan has a record of 36-11 and the Marlins won the Amherst Regional in Massachusetts by beating the host school, Amherst College, on Sunday by a 9-2 score. The Marlins had defeated the University of Rochester and Husson University on Friday and Saturday.

Christopher Newport freshman pitcher Jamie Martin again threw shutout ball for the Captains on Sunday, and was named the Most Outstanding Player of the Newport News Regional. Martin, a lefthander from Lorton, Va., earned all three victories as the Captains beat Wilson College Friday, 8-0, and Messiah Saturday and Sunday by scores of 5-0 and 3-0. She is now 18-1 on the season, and scattered five hits Sunday while striking out seven and walking just one. Martin has now thrown 35 consecutive innings without allowing a run. The shutout victory was the 22nd of the season for the Captains, most of any pitching staff in the nation. Martin has now shut out opponents 12 times this year.

CNU jumped to an early 1-0 lead when sophomore Katie Currin hit a fly ball into foul territory in the first inning with the bases loaded. Senior Caitlin Abernethy, who had led off with a walk, tagged at third and came home on the sacrifice fly. The run would prove to be the only one needed, and the only run scored for six innings as Martin and Messiah starter Madison Walter settled into a classic pitcher’s duel. The Captains were finally able to plate two insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth inning, as seniors Natalie Carmichael and Maddie Hool posted run-scoring singles to provide the final 3-0 verdict. Carmichael’s single up the middle, scoring pinch runner Bianca Palmer-Scott, extended her hitting streak to 13 straight games.

This marks just the second time in program history the Captains have recorded 40 wins or more. Christopher Newport was 42-10 in the 2010 season, which saw them advance to the National Championship game. CNU opened the 2022 season by recording 23 straight victories, the longest school winning streak ever, before falling at Averett University on March 27th in the second game of a doubleheader. Since then, the Captains have won 17 in a row.