NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) – It’s the one scenario almost every sports fan yearns for, but few get to see. Thanks to the Christopher Newport University softball team, a lucky crowd at Captains Park in Newport News can scratch it off their bucket list.
On April 19, CNU faced Salisbury University- ranked no. 1 in the country- for the Capital Athletic Conference Tournament Championship. The Captains defeated Salisbury 1-0 in the first game of the Saturday double-header, but trailed 2-1 in extra innings on the second.
“We knew it was going to come down to us getting a big hit or having to play the next day,” said Captains head coach Keith Parr.
CNU had the tying run on first base, and second baseman Taylor Dillow up to pinch hit. “I think we were all thinking…she can get it done,” said freshman pitcher Makayla Jenkins.
She did. The senior from Springfield belted a 2-run, walk-off home run 230 feet out of left field, giving the Captains a conference championship in their first season of CAC affiliation. A sea of blue and white jerseys mobbed their teammate at home plate.
“About half way to first, I realized (it was gone) when my first-base coach was kind of freaking out at first base,” remembers Dillow with a smile, “I rounded first, saw everyone at home plate, and (coach) Keith wasn’t even at third anymore. “
Parr has coached the Captains since 1999, and says that just might be the most memorable win of his tenure. Dillow found it almost surreal. “It was absolutely amazing,” she said, “It’s something that you dream about that you never think would actually happen.”
CNU now waits to see who’ll they’ll face in the NCAA Tournament. National seeding will take place on May 5.