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Birthday Girl Whittemore Leads #17 R-MC Softball to Sweep of #11 CNU

Candace Whittemore pitching
Candace Whittemore pitching

ASHLAND, Va. - Sophomore Candace Whittemore (Montpelier, Va./Patrick Henry) earned a win and a save on her birthday as the 17th-ranked Randolph-Macon softball team swept a home doubleheader from 11th-ranked Christopher Newport on Thursday afternoon.

The Yellow Jackets (13-1) took the opener 4-2 before taking the nightcap 5-2.

Whittemore (7-0) went the distance in Game 1, scattering seven hits over seven innings with one earned run, one walk and six strikeouts. She pitched the final 1.2 innings with one hit in Game 2 to register her third save.

In the opener, the Captains (11-5) scored a pair in the top of the third before R-MC answered in the fourth. Sophomore Diane McDaniel (Fauquier, Va./Liberty) drew a one-out walk and moved to third on a double by junior Brandi Mulvena (Farnham, Va./Rappahannock). Freshman Shelby Hill (Mechanicsville, Va./St. Margaret's) reached on a fielder's choice to load the bases before senior Jen Balcom (Powhatan, Va./Powhatan) delivered a two-run single to level the score at 2-2. Freshman Sami Davidson (Stafford, Va./Brooke Point) fouled out to the shortstop down the left field line, deep enough for Hill to score from third to give the Yellow Jackets a 3-2 advantage.

R-MC added an insurance run in the fifth as sophomore Savannah Wood (Tappahannock, Va./Essex) had a leadoff single, advanced to second on an error, was sacrificed to third by junior Harley Jones (Brodnax, Va./Brunswick) and scored on a single by McDaniel to give the home team a 4-2 lead.

Freshman Kerstin Roth (Yorktown, Va./Grafton) had two hits for R-MC.

In Game 2, the Yellow Jackets starting the scoring in the first. Roth had a leadoff single, moved to second on a wild pitch, advanced to third on a groundout and scored on a wild pitch for a 1-0 edge.

After CNU knotted the score in the second, R-MC took the lead for good in the third. Davidson started the inning with a base hit and was sacrificed to second by Roth. Wood reached on an error and freshman Sam Scifres (Midlothian, Va./Clover Hill) blooped a two-run single to right with two away to make it 3-1.

The Captains pulled with one at 3-2 in the top of the sixth before the Yellow Jackets responded in the bottom of the frame. Freshman Maddie Stone (Glen Allen, Va./Glen Allen) had a one-out double and scored on a two-base hit by Balcom to raise the advantage to 4-2. Davidson reached on an error, allowing pinch-runner Sarah Cimring (Chesapeake, Va./Great Bridge) to come home to make the final 5-2.

Balcom finished with two hits for the Yellow Jackets.

Freshman Cameron Thompson (Virginia Beach, Va./Kellam) earned the win in Game 2, going 5.1 innings with four hits, one walk and two runs.

Randolph-Macon returns to action on Wednesday, March 22, with a home doubleheader at 2:30 p.m. against Eastern Mennonite to begin ODAC play.