(Courtesy CNU Athletics)

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – The 2023 NCAA Division III Softball Tournament continues on Friday as 16 teams head into the Super Regional round. Christopher Newport University and Virginia Wesleyan University will play a best-of-three series at Captains Park, with the first game set for 2:00 p.m. Friday afternoon.

The Super Regional will continue on Saturday, and starting times have been changed due to weather concerns. The first game will now begin at 10:00 a.m., with a second game, if necessary, set now for 12:30 p.m.

Tickets will be available at Captains Park both days one hour before first pitch, when the gates will open. Tickets will be sold CASH ONLY, and will be $10.00 for adults and $5.00 for students and seniors. CNU students with valid ID will be admitted free.

The Super Regional will determine which squad will advance to the National Finals next week in Marshall, Texas. The Captains and Marlins have won four of the last six NCAA Championships, and CNU is the defending National Champion after going 47-1 a season ago.

Keith Parr’s Captains are 29-10, and won three straight games last weekend in the regional held at Captains Park, beating York College of Pennsylvania and Roanoke College twice, both by shutout. Sophomore pitcher Kate Alger was named the Most Outstanding Player of the regional after throwing a perfect game last Friday in the first victory over Roanoke.

Christopher Newport and Virginia Wesleyan met in the Super Regionals last season at Captains Park, and CNU won two straight to advance to the National Finals. The cross-water rivals played a doubleheader at Captains Park on March 15th, and split the two early-season battles. CNU took the opener, 6-5, but the Marlins recovered to win the nightcap, 7-4. The schools have met 91 times on the softball diamond over the years, and Virginia Wesleyan holds a 50-41 edge in the series, which dates back to 1985.

The Marlins are 38-11 this season, but fell in the semi-finals of the Old Dominion Athletic Conference tournament. After winning last Friday in the first game of its regional in Virginia Beach, the Marlins lost to the College of New Jersey, 7-4, in the opening game Saturday before bouncing back to win the nightcap, 6-2, to advance in the tournament.