ASHLAND, Va. – Randolph-Macon softball finished its season Friday afternoon at the Division III National Championship series. The Yellow Jackets fell to the seventh-ranked Illinois Wesleyan Titans, but ended the year with the highest-ever program finish after receiving the program's first berth into the Championship as well as the team's first Super Regional Championship.
Score: #7 Illinois Wesleyan 5, Randolph-Macon 3
Location/Venue: Tyler, Texas/Suddenlink Field
Records: Randolph-Macon (30-17), Illinois Wesleyan (39-9)
How It Happened
- IWU got ahead first as a two-RBI singled scored a pair of Titans in the top of the first. They added one more after an R-MC error.
- Randolph-Macon nearly evened the score an inning later. Senior Kerstin Roth (Yorktown, Va. / Grafton) doubled to left center, tallying two RBIs as junior Taylor Sanderford (Mechanicsville, Va. / Atlee) and senior Candace Whittemore (Montpelier, Va. / Patrick Henry) came home on her hit. Whittemore had led the inning off with a single and Sanderford walked to get aboard.
- IWU added two more in the top of the fifth inning with a pair of singles.
- Randolph-Macon made another run at the Titans in the bottom of the fifth inning. Roth led the inning off with a single and advanced to second as pinch hitter Kaitlyn Deeter (Roanoke, Va. / Lord Botetourt) moved her over on a groundout. Senior Savannah Wood (Tappahannock, Va. / Essex) singled to put two Yellow Jackets aboard and Roth at third base. Sophomore Ali Celiberti (Powhatan, Va. / Powhatan) then brought Roth home with a single to right field.
- Sanderford hit a nice double down the left field line in the bottom of the sixth inning, but no Yellow Jacket was able to return home, settling the final at 5-3.
Inside The Numbers
- Celiberti finished the day 3-4 with an RBI.
- Roth and Wood each recorded two hits. Roth also finished with two RBIs.
- Whittemore and Sanderford each finished with one hit on the day.
- Senior Sami Davidson (Stafford, Va. / Brooke Point) recorded a sacrifice bunt in the second inning, helping Sanderford and Whittemore into position for Roth's double.
Seniors Finish Tremendous Careers
- Six seniors finished tremendous careers on Friday. All were part of two record-breaking teams: last year's, which reached a program-record 40 wins; and this year's, which made its first run in the NCAA Championship series. The Yellow Jackets also experienced three straight NCAA Tournament appearances.
- Candace Whittemore (Montpelier, Va. / Patrick Henry) will leave R-MC as the team's record-holder in the circle for wins, strikeouts and ERA.
- Savannah Wood (Tappahannock, Va. / Essex) recently attained the most hits in a single season, setting the new benchmark of 61 in one year. She also neared the program record for total hits in a career, even while only competing three seasons after transferring from James Madison University.
- Kerstin Roth (Yorktown, Va. / Grafton) neared the program's stolen base record of 85, finishing with 78 for her career.
- Brittany LaPrade (Quinton, Va. / New Kent) finishes this season with a .388 batting average and collected 19 RBIs and hit her first two career home runs. She finishes her career with a .322 batting average.
- Casey Abernethy (Prince George, Va. / Prince George) and Sarah Cimring (Chesapeake, Va. / Great Bridge) both finish their career with stellar academic and athletic accomplishments, both being inducted into Phi Beta Kappa.
- Cimring finishes her career with 31 runs scored
- Abernethy scored 45 runs and collected 27 RBIs as well.