VIRGINIA BEACH -- A cold day at the beach failed to hamper the Virginia Wesleyan College softball team as the Marlins opened the 2013 season with a doubleheader sweep of Meredith College on Marlins Field.
The Marlins opened with an 8-2 decision over the Avenging Angels and followed it with an 11- victory for the sweep.
Sophomore All-American Kristina Karagiorgis (Ashburn/Briar Woods) tossed a one-hitter hitter in the opener, striking out 10 batters. Junior Lindsay Inzana (Chesapeake/Grassfield) threw in the last two innings of the game and struck out one and allowed three hits. Junior MacKenzie Creech (Hillsborough, N.C./Orange) followed with a four-hitter in the second game, striking out four in the five-inning game.
Virginia Wesleyan (2-0) took control early in the first game, scoring three runs in the first inning with the help of an Inzana single and Taylor Galvin (Virginia Beach/Kempsville) double. Karagiorgis led off the third inning with a triple and scored on a Galvin single
Meredith plated two runs in the top of the fourth off two walks, a VWC error and a sacrifice, but Virginia Wesleyan tacked on four more runs in the bottom of the fifth to help secure the win. Inzana ripped a three-run homer in the inning.
Inzana and Galvin led Marlin hitting in the opener, both with three hits.
Leah Friedman (Chapel Hill, N.C./East Chapel Hill) led Meredith hitting with a pair of singles. Amanda Bierne (Bath, N.C./Northside) pitched for the Angels and absorbed the loss. She struck out two batters.
Meredith hit the scoreboard first in the second game with a run in the top of the third inning. Ashley Green (Asheville, N.C./T.C. Roberson) led off with a single and scored on a double by Courtney Saunders (Raleigh, N.C./Wake Christian Academy).
Junior All-America Tori Higginbotham (Glen Allen/J.R. Tucker) tied the game in the bottom of the inning, leading off with a home run. After two outs, the Marlins loaded the bases with two walks and a batter hit by a pitch. Junior Kelly Keys (Manassas/Osbourn Park) sent all three runners home with a double to give the Marlins a 4-1 lead.
While Meredith managed just two singles in the last two innings, Virginia Wesleyan posted seven runs in the fourth to ice the game. Kayla Dost (Bristow/Nokesville Brentsville), Karagiorgis, Galvin and Keys all singled in the inning, and Higginbotham belted a triple.
Higginbotham and Keys were both 3-for-3 at the plate. Keys drove in five runs.
Amanda White (Asheville, N.C./T.C. Roberson) and Saunders topped Meredith hitting with a double each. Bierne also pitched for Meredith in the second game and struck out two.
Virginia Wesleyan competes again on Tuesday, Feb. 19, hosting the University of Mary Washington in a non-conference doubleheader beginning at 2 p.m.