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Three Is Magic Number For No. 7 Softball In Pair Of Wins at EMU

Taylor Sanderford Hits

ASHLAND, Va. – Three was a magic number for No. 7 Randolph-Macon Wednesday as it won a pair of games, both by the score of 3-0 in Harrisonburg against Old Dominion Athletic Conference foe Eastern Mennonite. Junior Kerstin Roth (Yorktown, Va. / Grafton) scored an RBI in each game while senior Harley Jones (Brodnax, Va. / Brunswick) and sophomore Taylor Sanderford (Mechanicsville, Va. / Atlee) each went 2-3 in the second game. Randolph-Macon's (26-2, 5-1 ODAC) pitching staff surrendered just one walk and six hits on the afternoon while shutting out the Royals (13-9, 1-4 ODAC).

Randolph-Macon 3, Eastern Mennonite 0

The second inning proved to be all R-MC needed to win the afternoon's opening game. Sophomore Shelby Hill (Mechanicsville, Va. / St. Margaret's) singled to lead off the inning. After junior Candace Whittemore (Montpelier, Va. / Patrick Henry) bunted her over to second, Sanderford reached on a fielding error by the shortstop as Hill moved to third. Sophomore Maddie Stone (Glen Allen, Va. / Glen Allen) bunted into a fielder's choice, but was safe and Hill came in to score. Stone promptly stole second, putting another two runners in scoring position for the Yellow Jackets. Junior Casey Abernethy (Prince George, Va. / Prince George) sacrifice flied out to center, scoring Sanderford.

R-MC added an insurance run in the third as Stone was hit by a pitch. She stole second and third before Roth sacrificed herself on a fly ball, scoring Stone.

Whittemore pitched the complete game shutout, striking out five batters while not allowing a single walk. Whittemore is now third in the conference for ERA this season at 0.75.  Whittemore ranked 13th in the nation coming into today's game and is part of a Randolph-Macon pitching staff that was ranked was the No. 1 team in the country at the Division III level for Team ERA.

Randolph-Macon 3, Eastern Mennonite 0

Another piece of that pitching puzzle is freshman Madie Rhoads (Portsmouth, Va. / Nansemond River). Rhoads had her own complete game shutout of the Royals, helping push her ERA down to 0.26 – a top mark in the ODAC and the third best ERA in the nation. Rhoads fanned 11 while allowing just one walk and one hit.

Both Rhoads and EMU's pitcher, Sydney Reath, had clean games heading into the third inning. That's where R-MC got its first hit, a single to center by Stone.

R-MC got more momentum in the fourth inning. Junior Savannah Wood (Tappahannock, Va. / Essex) singled with one out and then stole second. After another put out, Jones singled and Wood scored, getting R-MC on the board for the first time in the game.

The Yellow Jackets hit their magic number for the day in the fifth inning. Hill singled to lead off the inning and then was moved over on a sacrifice by Whittemore. Hill then stole third, putting her in perfect position to score when the next batter, Sanderford, singled to first base. The next batter, Stone, reached on an error, pushing Sanderford over to second. Freshman Kamryn Steinruck (Glen Allen, Va. / Glen Allen) pinch ran for Sanderford and was moved over to third on a sacrifice bunt. Roth then singled to the shortstop, scoring Steinruck and finalizing the R-MC win 3-0.

Randolph-Macon outhit the Royals 9-1 in the second game.

Randolph-Macon is slated for a pair of doubleheaders this weekend at home: with Guilford on Saturday at 1:30 PM and with Emory & Henry on Sunday at 1:00 PM.