ASHLAND, Va. – Junior Kerstin Roth (Yorktown, Va. / Grafton) had a hand in five of Randolph-Macon's seven runs in a pair of games Saturday afternoon at the R-MC Softball Field in Ashland in the team's first Old Dominion Athletic Conference tilt against Shenandoah. The No. 5 Yellow Jackets led for the entire afternoon and ceded just a single run, while upping their record to 19-1 overall and 2-0 in the ODAC while Shenandoah dropped to 9-9 and 0-2 in conference play.
Randolph-Macon 5, Shenandoah 0
In the opening frame, Roth doubled in the first at-bat of the game for R-MC and was eventually plated by sophomore Sami Davidson (Stafford, Va. / Brooke Point), who singled to right. Davidson went 3-4 in the game.
R-MC continued solid offensive production in the bottom of the second inning. Sophomore Taylor Sanderford (Mechanicsville, Va. / Atlee) singled to right center to lead off the inning and was moved to second on a sacrifice by sophomore Maddie Stone (Glen Allen, Va. / Glen Allen). Sophomore Shelby Hill (Mechanicsville, Va. / St. Margaret's) tripled to right field to send Sanderford home. Hill scored as Roth sent up a sacrifice fly to left field, the first of three RBIs in the game for Roth. Sanderford and Hill were both 2-3 on the afternoon, as well as junior Brittany LaPrade (Quinton, Va. / New Kent).
The sixth inning started in similar fashion as the second, with Sanderford hitting a single up the middle. Junior Sarah Cimring (Chesapeake, Va. / Great Bridge) pinch ran for Sanderford after her single, with Stone laying down a sacrifice bunt again and Hill singling on a bunt, pushing Cimring to third. Hill stole second during Roth's at-bat before Roth sent a single to left center, scoring both Hill and Cimring. Roth was thrown out, but her 2-2 day was enough to push the Yellow Jackets to a 5-0 win.
The Yellow Jackets outhit the Hornets 14-6 in the day's first game.
Junior Candace Whittemore (Montpelier, Va. / Patrick Henry) struck out 10 Hornet batters and allowed just six hits and two walks in her complete game. She struck out four batters in a row spanning the second and third innings.
Randolph-Macon 2, Shenandoah 1
R-MC sent freshman Madie Rhoads (Portsmouth, Va. / Nansemond River) into the circle for the second game, where the conference's best pitcher by ERA (0.50) fanned eight Hornet batters. She also allowed a walk and a home run.
The Yellow Jackets had a tougher go at the plate than in Game One, with only senior Harley Jones (Brodnax, Va. / Brunswick) and junior Savannah Wood (Tappahannock, Va. / Essex) getting hits off of Hornet pitcher Lizzy Everette. Both hits came in the first inning and set in motion the events that would secure Randolph-Macon the win six innings later.
After Roth reached on an error by Everette and proceeded to steal second, Wood sent a single up the middle to move Roth to third. Davidson set down a sacrifice bunt that allowed Roth to score, but Wood was thrown out advancing to third.
The next batter, Jones, ensured R-MC would add more to its run total as she sent a homer over the left field fence, scoring the second and decisive run in the game.
R-MC would gain just two more baserunners for the rest of the game and the Hornets threatened with a home run in the top of the seventh, but Rhoads secured the two ground-outs and a fly-out she needed to get her fifth win of the season.
R-MC now owns the top two spots in the conference for top pitchers by ERA with Rhoads in first and Whittemore in second (0.66).
Randolph-Macon will face Mary Washington at home on Wednesday at 3:00 PM.