NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – Randolph-Macon softball will travel to Tyler, Texas to participate in the National Championship after defeating the 11th-ranked Christopher Newport Captains twice on Saturday in the Newport News Super Regional. The first game went to extra innings, while the second came down to the final outs of the seventh inning. Senior pitcher Candace Whittemore (Montpelier, Va. / Patrick Henry) was named the Newport News Super Regional Pitcher of the Tournament while junior Shelby Hill (Mechanicsville, Va. / St. Margaret's) was named the Newport News Super Regional Player of the Tournament. The second win of the day also marked head coach Kevin Proffit's 400th win as a head coach, all with Randolph-Macon.
Game 1: Randolph-Macon 4, #11 Christopher Newport 3 (8)
Game 2: Randolph-Macon 4, #11 Christopher Newport 3
Location/Venue: Newport News, Va./Captains Park
Records: Randolph-Macon (30-15), Christopher Newport (37-9)
How It Happened – Game One
- Christopher Newport scored early in the game. In the top of the first, the Captains scored a pair of runs to get ahead 2-0.
- R-MC got one of the two back in the bottom half of the inning. With two outs, junior Kaitlyn Deeter (Roanoke, Va. / Lord Botetourt) singled down the left field line, scoring senior Kerstin Roth (Yorktown, Va. / Grafton). Roth had walked earlier in the inning.
- CNU added one more in the top of the fourth to go ahead 3-1.
- Randolph-Macon returned the favor in the bottom of the fifth inning. Roth singled to lead off the inning and rounded to second after a throwing error. After junior Maddie Stone (Glen Allen, Va. / Glen Allen) moved Roth to third on a groundout, senior Savannah Wood (Tappahannock, Va. / Essex) sent a sacrifice fly to left field, scoring Roth.
- The Yellow Jackets tied it up in the bottom of the sixth. Senior Brittany LaPrade (Quinton, Va. / New Kent) was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning. Sophomore Kamryn Steinruck (Glen Allen, Va. / Glen Allen) pinch ran for LaPrade and came around to score as senior Candace Whittemore (Montpelier, Va. / Patrick Henry) singled to move her second, junior Taylor Sanderford (Mechanicsville, Va. / Atlee) hit a sacrifice bunt to move Steinruck to third and junior Sami Davidson (Stafford, Va. / Brooke Point) grounded out for the RBI, bringing Steinruck home.
- With the score knotted at 3-3, the game moved to extra innings. After CNU got two aboard, Whittemore got a strikeout to end the inning.
- In the bottom of the eighth inning, R-MC loaded the bases after three walks. Hill stepped in and sent a single over the CNU second baseman's head, scoring Whittemore and ending the game.
Inside the Numbers
- Whittemore earned the win after pitching all eight innings. She struck out five and walked only one while not allowing an earned run. Junior Ali Celiberti (Powhatan, Va. / Powhatan) started the game, but faced only two batters after suffering an injury.
- Whittemore also led the Yellow Jackets at the plate, going 2-3 with a run scored. She also earned a walk.
- Roth, Stone, Deeter, Sanderford, Davidson and Hill each earned a hit.
- Wood, Deeter, Davidson and Hill all recorded an RBI.
- Roth scored two runs with Steinruck and Whittemore each scoring one.
How It Happened – Game Two
- Randolph-Macon scored in the top of the second inning to draw first blood in the game. Deeter led off the inning with a single down the left field line. Whittemore sacrificed Deeter over to second. Deeter came in after LaPrade reached on an error.
- R-MC scored again in the top of the third inning. With two outs, Stone reached on an error that got her to second base. Wood then singled up the middle, scoring Stone.
- Another number went on the board for R-MC in the fourth inning. Again with two outs, Hill came through with an RBI single to left field. The play scored LaPrade after she singled earlier in the inning.
- R-MC added one more in the top of the seventh inning. Hill led off the inning with a single to short. Following an R-MC out, Stone sacrificed to move Hill to second. Wood then hit Hill home with an RBI single to center.
- CNU added three runs in the bottom half of the inning, but Whittemore got a strikeout, groundout and popout to end the game.
Inside The Numbers
- Whittemore struck out seven batters and allowed just two walks in seven innings pitched. She earned the win, the fifth of the NCAA Tournament.
- Roth, Wood, LaPrade and Hill each recorded two hits. Deeter, Sanderford and Davidson each recorded a hit as well.
- Wood finished with two RBIs, while Hill added the third. Stone, Deeter, LaPrade and Hill each recorded a run.
- Wood is now the program's top hitter in a single season. Her 58 hits surpass the previous leader, Madison Gilman, who had 55 in her senior season.
- The second win was Head Coach Kevin Proffitt's 400th win. All 400 have come with Randolph-Macon. It's his 17th season with the Yellow Jackets.
- This is Randolph-Macon's first program berth in the NCAA Championship.
Randolph-Macon will travel to Tyler, Texas next week. The first games will take place on Thursday. More information will be available later this week.