NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – Randolph-Macon began its 2018 season Tuesday afternoon with a split doubleheader against #14 Christopher Newport at Captains Park in Newport News. CNU won the first game 2-1 while Randolph-Macon captured the nightcap by the same score.
CNU 2, R-MC 1
Sophomore Sami Davidson (Stafford, Va./Brooke Point) sent a single into left field and junior Candace Whittemore (Montpelier, Va. / Patrick Henry) scored from second in the Yellow Jackets' first inning of the season. Whittemore singled to third just two batters earlier to mark R-MC's first hit of the year and stole second during junior Savannah Wood's (Tappahannock, Va. / Essex) at bat.
R-MC maintained its lead until the fourth when the Captains got the run back off a single with two outs and a runner at second.
With the game deadlocked heading into the seventh, R-MC got a runner in scoring position as freshman Kaitlyn Deeter (Roanoke, Va. / Lord Botetourt) singled, stole second and arrived at third on a groundout. But the Yellow Jackets could not convert the opportunity and the Captains got the walk-off chance in the bottom of the seventh.
CNU took advantage. Captain sophomore Tara Deck batted senior Savannah Couch home with a two-out double to walk the first game off.
R-MC tallied five hits while allowing just four. Whittemore pitched all 6.2 innings and struck out six.
R-MC 2, CNU 1
Christopher Newport picked up the nightcap right where they had left off game one. CNU sent a run across with two outs in the bottom of the first inning.
The Captains were able to hang on to the lead until the fourth inning. But that's when the R-MC bats came alive and the Yellow Jackets were able to take advantage of CNU miscues to take the lead.
Davidson, who was 2-3 for the game, knocked a single to third base. Davidson moved to second as Deeter reached on an error after laying down a sacrifice bunt. Both were moved again on a passed ball during senior Harley Jones' (Brodnax, Va. / Brunswick) at bat. After Jones was retired, sophomore Brittany LaPrade (Quinton, Va. / New Kent) sent a single up the middle against her former team, sending Davidson and Deeter home. It was just one of three hits for LaPrade as she created offensive production in each of her three at bats.
R-MC outhit CNU in the second game, 6-2.
The two runs would prove to be all the Yellow Jackets would need as the team would not allow another Captain baserunner for the rest of the game behind the arm of freshman Kayley Scott (Henrico, Va. / Lee-Davis). Scott allowed only two hits and two walks in her debut while striking out seven.
While the Captains checked in at #14 in the NFCA Division III Top 25 poll, R-MC received votes in the same preseason poll. Randolph-Macon will next head to the Grand Slam Triangle Classic in Cary, N.C. on Saturday and Sunday. On Saturday, the team will face Rowan at 10:00 AM and N.C. Wesleyan at 2:00 PM. Sunday will see the Yellow Jackets against Piedmont (Ga.) at Noon and Salem at 4:00 PM. Rowan is also receiving votes into the Top 25.