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Panthers are matched against Wasps in tournament

Panthers are matched against Wasps in tournament

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Panthers are matched against  Wasps in tournament

Ferrum College shortstop Keri Hamlett (No. 12) flips the ball to second baseman Carly Nelson for a putout as the two attempt to complete an infield double play.

Editor's Note: This series was moved to Sunday because of Ferrum's commencement exercises on Saturday. Emory & Henry holds a 3-1 lead in the first game with the second game to follow. If a third game is needed, it will be played Monday at 3 p.m.

FOREST — Ferrum College, which finished regular-season play four games below .500, begins play in the 2021 Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) softball tournament this weekend as the No. 7 seed in an eight-team field.

The Panthers (16-20) are matched against No. 2 seed Emory & Henry College (23-5), ranked No. 10 nationally, in a best of three quarterfinal-round series.

Ferrum travels to Emory & Henry for the series.

A doubleheader is set for Saturday with a single game slated for Sunday if needed.

Best of three games series are scheduled for semifinal-round play and will be used to declare this year’s conference champion.

Also qualifying for the tournament are No. 1 seed Virginia Wesleyan University, No. 3 seed University of Lynchburg, No. 4 seed Roanoke College, No. 5 seed Bridgewater College, No. 6 seed Guilford (N.C.) College and No. 8 seed Shenandoah University.

Virginia Wesleyan, which has won two recent national championships in softball, enters the tournament ranked No. 2 nationally in Division III.

The Marlins are the tournament’s No. 1 seed for the ninth straight year.

Randolph-Macon College is not in this year’s field due to COVID-19 pandemic protocols within its program, conference officials said.

Emory & Henry swept Ferrum in a regular-season conference doubleheader on its home diamond, winning 8-1 and 1-0.

When the tournament was last contested in 2019, a double-elimination format was used and all games were played at the James I. Moyer Sports Complex in Salem.

Ferrum opened the tournament that year with a loss to Emory & Henry, then the Panthers bested Guilford in an elimination game before falling to Virginia Wesleyan.

Semifinal-round series play is set for Wednesday and Thursday, May 5-6; the championship series is Saturday and Sunday, May 8-9.

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