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Softball Advances To ODAC Championship

taylor sanderford batting

SALEM, Va. – Randolph-Macon Softball has advanced to the Old Dominion Athletic Conference Tournament Championship game in its bid to win the team's second ODAC Title. The Yellow Jackets ended the day with a 3-1 victory against third-seeded and nationally-ranked Lynchburg to advance directly to the final round in the minimal number of games to do so. 

In the first game of the day, seniors Candace Whittemore (Beaverdam, Va. / Patrick Henry) and Savannah Wood (Tappahannock, Va. / Essex) along with junior Taylor Sanderford (Mechanicsville, Va. / Atlee) spearheaded a Yellow Jacket defeat of the top-seeded and national #1 team, Virginia Wesleyan, in in the second round of the Old Dominion Athletic Conference Tournament today. Sanderford and Wood were both 2- 3, with Wood recording one RBI and Sanderford driving in two, while Whittemore struck out four batters.

The Basics

Score:

Game 1 (Tournament Game 7): Randolph-Macon 3, #1 (No. 1) Virginia Wesleyan 2
Game 2 (Tournament Game 11) : Randolph-Macon 3, #3 (No. 20) Lynchburg 1

Location/Venue: Salem, Va. / Moyer Sports Complex

Records: Randolph-Macon (26-12), Virginia Wesleyan (37-4), Lynchburg (32-11)

How it Happened - Game 1

  • Senior Kerstin Roth (Yorkton, Va. / Grafton) led off the top of the first inning by bunting for a hit down the third base line before advancing to second on a throwing error by the third baseman. Junior Maddie Stone (Glen Allen, Va. / Glen Allen) laid down a sacrifice bunt to move Roth to third for Wood. Wood flared a ball into the right center field gap to plate Roth and give R-MC the early lead.
  • Senior Brittany LaPrade (Quinton, Va. / New Kent) ripped a single down the left field line in the top of the fourth to get the offense going again. Sophomore Kamryn Steinruck (Glen Allen, Va. / Glen Allen) came in to pinch run and moved over to second on Whittemore's sacrifice bunt. Sanderford then laced a single back up the middle to plate Steinruck and restore the Yellow Jackets lead.
  • Wood led off the top of the sixth with a single to left field, advancing to second after the ball skipped past the left fielder. Sanderford stepped in following two straight pop-ups and proceeded to rip another RBI single up the middle to give the Yellow Jackets the lead for good.

By the Numbers - Game 1

  • Wood was 2-3 on the game with an RBI and also scoring the winning run while stealing a base.
  • Whittemore picked up her 16th win of the season with another strong performance in the circle, going seven strong innings and striking out four while allowing only five hits.
  • This marked Randolph-Macon's second win of the season over Virginia Wesleyan and third win of the season over a national #1 team. 

How It Happened - Game 2

  • Randolph-Macon scored all of its runs in the top of the third inning. Roth led the inning off with a double to left center before being bunted to second by Stone on a sacrifice. Wood hit an RBI single to bring Roth home, putting R-MC ahead 1-0. LaPrade earned a base on an error, moving Wood to second. Sanderford moved the runners over on a groundout, but that left the Yellow Jackets with two outs.  
  • That's when the game's starting pitcher, sophomore Ali Celiberti (Powhatan, Va. / Powhatan) sent a single up the middle, scoring Wood. A pitching change offered no relief for Lynchburg as junior Shelby Hill (Mechanicsville, Va. / St. Margaret's) singled to drive in LaPrade. 
  • Lynchburg earned one run in the bottom of the sixth inning, but the Yellow Jackets held on in the seventh to earn the win. 

Inside The Numbers - Game 2

  • Wood was 3-4 on the game, putting her entire day at 5-7 with two RBIs and two runs. 
  • Celiberti went 3-4 at the plate as well. 
  • Hill and Davidson both finished the game 2-3 with both earning a walk and Hill finishing with an RBI.
  • Celiberti earned a win, her second of the year in as many starts. She struck out one while walking just three and allowing six hits. 

Up Next

The ODAC Tournament Championship game will begin tomorrow at 4:00 PM. A win will earn the Yellow Jackets' second ODAC Title, with the first coming in 2015. Fourth-seeded R-MC will face either #1 Virginia Wesleyan or #3 Lynchburg, with those two teams squaring off at 1:00 PM in Salem. With the double-elimination format, should an additional game be needed, it will be played on Monday morning at 10:00 AM.