ASHLAND, Va. – No. 4 Randolph-Macon Softball earned a split in a doubleheader with Lynchburg on Saturday afternoon in conference action at the R-MC Softball Field. Junior Sami Davidson (Stafford, Va. / Brooke Point) tallied six RBIs on the afternoon, three in each game, leading the team as well as earning two hits in the first game and one in the second.
Lynchburg 6, Randolph-Macon 5 (10 Innings)
In a game that needed three extra innings to decide, Randolph-Macon (22-2, 3-1 ODAC) and Lynchburg (17-9, 3-5 ODAC) battled back and forth, especially in the extra frames.
Working in the fourth inning, junior Savannah Wood (Tappahannock, Va. / Essex) earned a walk to lead off the frame. Davidson sent her home with a double to right center, earning Davidson's first RBI of the afternoon. Senior Harley Jones (Brodnax, Va. / Brunswick) moved Davidson to third with a sacrifice bunt, leading to junior Candace Whittemore (Montpelier, Va. / Patrick Henry) hitting Davidson home with a single to left field.
Lynchburg came storming back in the top of the fifth. On a fly foul-out, Lynchburg advanced two runners, with one of them coming home. The next Hornet batter, Skyler Dickens, sent a single to right center, scoring an RBI in the process. Then the final batter of the inning, Mackenzie Chitwood, doubled to left field, sending home Dickens before Chitwood was thrown out at third. But the damage was done as Lynchburg had its first lead over the Yellow Jackets 3-2.
R-MC answered in the bottom half of the inning. Sophomore Shelby Hill (Mechanicsville, Va. / St. Margaret's) singled to open the inning. She was followed by junior Kerstin Roth (Yorktown, Va. / Grafton) who bunted for a single and advanced Hill to second. Wood grounded out on a sac bunt, moving both runners again. That set up Davidson to be able to ground out, but also into an RBI, sending Hill home.
With the score tied at the end of regulation, the two teams both brought their International Tie Break runners into home in the eighth and ninth innings, but could not score any more.
In the tenth, Lynchburg was able to bring home its runner with a single up the middle by Sarah Commons, who tallied the RBI with two outs.
Randolph-Macon was not able to advance its runner, Whittemore, home as she was thrown out at home on a fielder's choice.
Whittemore was also the pitcher of record in the game. She struck out eight Hornet batters and allowed just three runs and two walks.
Roth was 3-6 with a run scored, while Davidson went 2-5 with 3 RBIs and a run. Hill and Whittemore were each 2-3.
Randolph-Macon 7, Lynchburg 0
Freshman Madie Rhoads (Portsmouth, Va. / Nansemond River) pitched a complete game, allowing just two hits and no runs while fanning eight Lynchburg batters. Rhoads is the conference's leader in ERA at 0.34. Through games on March 29, she ranked fourth in the country for ERA, then recorded at 0.41. Whittemore checked in at eighth in the nation at 0.61. R-MC as a pitching staff was second in the country with a team ERA of 0.85.
The second inning was huge for Randolph-Macon. Hill began the inning with a triple to right field. Whittemore, playing the second game as the designated player, singled through the right side to score Hill. Sophomore Taylor Sanderford (Mechanicsville, Va. / Atlee) earned a walk to keep the inning without an R-MC out. Sophomore Maddie Stone (Glen Allen, Va. / Glen Allen) singled to keep the inning going and loading the bases. Junior Brittany LaPrade (Quinton, Va. / New Kent) reached base cleanly on a fielder's choice, earning and RBI and scoring Whittemore. The next two runners headed for home were called out at the plate, both on fielder's choices. But with the bases still loaded, Davidson sent a double to left center, clearing the basepaths except for herself and earning three RBIs.
R-MC kept its 5-0 lead until the bottom of the sixth inning when Stone and junior Casey Abernethy (Prince George, Va. / Prince George) both walked to start the inning out. After Roth sacrificed moving the runners, Wood grounded out, but scored Stone. Davidson then reached on an error, scoring Abernethy and closing the R-MC score as a 7-0 final.
Roth was 1-2 with a run scored. Abernethy finished 1-1 with two runs scored as well.
Randolph-Macon next plays at Methodist on Monday at 3:00 PM. The team also visits Eastern Mennonite this week before returning home next Saturday to face Guilford at 1:30 PM.