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.
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.
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.