Marlin community strikes out cancer

Despite the seeming never-ending rain, the softball team persevered to host their annual “Strikeout Cancer” event on April 20. This event is a part of a movement to raise money for cancer research and awareness.

The team began their participation in the movement in 2009 where they raised $3,000. Then ten years later in 2018 the program showed their experience in the fundraising field as they raised $28,000 in the 2018 event.

This year, the team sold wristbands to support Recreation and Leisure Studies professor Wayne Pollock who is currently battling stage four Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma.

Even though the Strikeout Cancer event had to be pushed back a week due to rain, the impact and purpose of the event remained the same.

“Obviously, Strikeout Cancer has been a really big event for our team and the campus community, but this year especially we have had a ton of travel organizations step up and make donations,” junior Hanna Hull said. “It goes to show how big this event truly is. Every year we have had more and more people contribute to help us raise money to beat cancer.”

This event especially resonated with head coach Brandon Elliott, who lost his mother to cancer in 2008. In addition to his active involvement in the event, junior Madison Glaubke has her own personal tie to the event as well. She lost her mother to cancer in 2017.

“Strikeout Cancer means more to me than a couple games. It’s a day that I get to share with people who have gone through something that I have experienced in my life,” Glaubke said. “The past couple of years this day has been super hard for me, but it just keeps getting a little better each year.”

Despite many fun activities such as a silent auction and a bounce house, the team still had softball to be played. They faced Ferrum College in a doubleheader which resulted in a 5-0 win in the first game, and a 1-0 loss in the second.

The first game is where all the action occurred as the Marlin bats were connecting, and Hull reached yet another milestone. The team registered seven hits in the game and five runs. Sophomore Maria Weddle and sophomore Danielle Stewart both logged an RBI. Also, sophomore Katelyn Biando went 2-3 with a double.

On the pitching end, Hull made history; she surpassed the 1,000 strikeout mark with 15 strikeouts, which gave her a total of 1,005 career strikeouts. Only 24 players before her in all of Division III college softball have reached this milestone.

“It was really cool to experience 1,000 strikeouts on such an important day for our team. It means a lot to me that my teammates and coaches are all so supportive,” Hull said.

In addition to Hull surpassing this benchmark, she also was just one walked batter shy of pitching a perfect game.

The Marlin offense cooled down immensely in the second game as the team was held scoreless and lost to the Ferrum Panthers by a run. The team logged four hits in this game, and sophomore Carla Hall pitched the entire game. Despite the loss, Hall only allowed three hits.

The Old Dominion Athletic Conference softball tournament begins April 26 and the Marlins enter the field as the one-seed after finishing the year with an 18-2 conference record.

“We are very fortunate to be going into the tournament as the number one seed, and we are really trying to focus on one game at a time, and not taking any team lightly. The ODAC is an extremely hard conference to play in, so we know from here on out we have to be on our ‘A game,’” Hull said.

Megan Sherman