FREDERICKSBURG, Va. – The tenth-ranked Randolph-Macon softball team split its campaign-opening twinbill with Mary Washington Thursday afternoon. The Yellow Jackets took the first game 7-4 before falling in the nightcap 6-5.
Randolph-Macon 7, Mary Washington 4
The game was held scoreless until Randolph-Macon lit up the scoreboard in the fourth inning.
Senior Brittany LaPrade (Quinton, Va. / New Kent) led off the inning with a single. LaPrade was replaced on the basepaths by Skylar Ackerson (Midlothian, Va. / James River), who moved up to second on a single by Shelby Hill (Mechanicsville, Va. / St. Margaret's). Junior Sami Davidson (Stafford, Va. / Brooke Point) was the beneficiary of an error by the shortstop, loading the bases full of Yellow Jackets. That's when junior Maddie Stone (Glen Allen, Va. / Glen Allen) scored a sacrifice fly to center field, tallying the RBI and moving Ackerson across home plate. Junior Taylor Sanderford (Mechanicsville, Va. / Atlee) scored an RBI as she grounded out, but sent Hill home. Davidson then got the benefit of the second UMW error in the inning as she advanced home on an error at home plate by the Eagle catcher.
Mary Washington added three runs in the bottom half of the inning to tie the game at 3-3.
In the fifth inning, senior Kerstin Roth (Yorktown, Va. / Grafton) led off the inning with a single. She rounded the bases on a ground out by senior Candace Whittemore (Montpelier, Va. / Patrick Henry) and then advanced to third on a passed ball. Senior Savannah Wood (Tappahannock, Va. / Essex) walked and was able to steal second during LaPrade's at bat. That set up a pair of runs for Randolph-Macon as Hill benefitted from an error by the shortstop, scoring Wood and Roth. Davidson finished off the inning with a single to right field and the RBI as Hill scored.
R-MC closed the game out with a run in the seventh inning as Wood scored following a walk issued to Sanderford. Wood had singled to start out the inning before the bases filled with Yellow Jackets on a pair of hit batters.
Whittemore started the game and earned the win. She struck out three in four innings of work. Sophomore Ali Celiberti (Powhatan, Va. / Powhatan) earned the save in three innings of work, striking out one.
Mary Washington 6, Randolph-Macon 5
Whereas the action was reserved for the later innings in the first game, the scoring came fast and furious in the beginning of the nightcap.
Roth led off the game with a single to center field before stealing second. She advanced to third as Whittemore grounded out. Wood hit her home, earning the RBI in the process and opening R-MC's scoring for the second game. Wood then stole second and moved along to third as Davidson singled to right field. Davidson earned a steal before Hill walked. Junior Sam Scifres (Midlothian, Va. / Clover Hill) hit into a fielder's choice, which prevented the score, but left the bases loaded with just one out. That's when Sanderford singled, tallying an RBI as Davidson scored. Stone followed up with a two-RBI single as Hill and Scifres scored. Mary Washington claimed half those runs back in the bottom of the first inning, giving R-MC the 4-2 lead heading into the second.
With two outs in the second, Wood singled to kickstart the R-MC offense in the frame. After stealing second, Wood advanced to third as Davidson singled back up the middle. An error allowed Wood to come home to score.
But the bottom of the second was where the remainder of the game was decided. With two outs and one batter on for the Eagles, Mary Washington loaded the bases on a single and a walk. Rachel Porchie cleared the bases and put UMW on top for good with a grand slam, sending UMW up 6-5, which is where the final score settled.
Wood went 2-4 with an RBI on the second game and Davidson went 2-3 with a run scored. Sanderford was 1-2 with an RBI as well.
Sophomore Madie Rhoads (Portsmouth, Va. / Nansemond River) was tagged with the loss, going 2.2 innings and striking out six. Freshman Kellie Ferguson (Capron, Va. / Southampton Academy) pitched 3.1 innings and struck out one, giving up just one hit as well.
Randolph-Macon will have a pair of doubleheaders to open the home slate this weekend. The Yellow Jackets will face Stevenson on Saturday beginning at 1:00 PM and will play Gettysburg on Sunday at 12:00 Noon.