Ashland, Va. -- The Lynchburg College softball team grinded out an extra-inning, 6-5 victory over fourth-ranked Randolph-Macon in Saturday afternoon's doubleheader opener but slipped up in the nightcap, 7-0, to settle for an Old Dominion Athletic Conference road split.
Sophomore designated player Sarah Commons (Glen Allen, Va.) drove in the eventual game-winning run for the Hornets on her third hit of the game in the 10th inning, while junior Taylor Belknap (Arden, N.C.) closed the game with a scoreless 1 ⅔ innings for the win, snapping the Yellow Jackets' 21-game win streak.
Senior center fielder Skylar DIckens (Virginia Beach, Va.) and sophomore shortstop Kayla Hugate (Chesterfield, Va.) each had multi-hit games for LC in the victory as well.
Game 1 Final: Lynchburg 6, No. 4 Randolph-Macon 5 (10 inn.)
Game 2 Final: No. 4 Randolph-Macon 7, Lynchburg 0
Records: Lynchburg (17-9, 3-5 ODAC), No. 4 Randolph-Macon (22-2, 3-1 ODAC)
Venue: R-MC Softball Field, Randolph-Macon College, Ashland, Va.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Both pitchers, Lynchburg's Conner English (Altavista, Va.) and R-MC's Candace Whittemore, were dominant early; neither allowed a baserunner past second for the game's first three innings.
- After Randolph-Macon took a 2-0 lead in the fourth, Lynchburg punched right back with three runs in the top of the fifth. Freshman right fielder Jordyne Vance (Lynchburg, Va.) broke up the shutout with a sacrifice fly, followed by RBI hits from Dickens and junior first baseman Mackenzie Chitwood (Ferrum, Va.).
- R-MC came right back to tie the game in the bottom half, however, and the game remained knotted 3-3 until the eighth inning. Freshman pitcher Kayley Cox (Yorktown, Va.) did her part with 4 ⅓ innings of scoreless relief.
- In the eighth, Hugate singled home senior pinch runner Mackenzie Mount (Forest, Va.), who was on second to start the inning per the universal tiebreak rule, but Lynchburg could manage no more. The Yellow Jackets also plated a run in the eighth, and the two teams traded runs in the same manner in the ninth inning to enter the 10th tied, 5-5.
- With two outs in the top of the 10th, Commons singled up the middle to bring home freshman pinch runner Haylee Wood (Goode, Va.). In the bottom half, the Yellow Jackets moved their runner to third with a sacrifice bunt. Belknap induced a grounder to third on the ensuing play, and the Hornet defense cut the would-be tying run down at the plate for the second out. After a single, Belknap got a popup to seal the victory, ending R-MC's 21-game win streak.
- Randolph-Macon hurler Madie Rhoads twirled a gem on the back end of the twinbill, striking out eight Hornets in a two-hit shutout. Junior catcher Brittany Coffey (Manassas, Va.) and junior third baseman Taylor Mabry had the hits for LC.
- Meanwhile, the Yellow Jackets got to Lynchburg pitching to the tune of five runs in the second, adding two more in the sixth to bring the score to its final standing at 7-0.
Lynchburg continues its road trip through the ODAC on Wednesday, April 4 with a trip to Guilford. Game 1 of the double-dip in Greensboro, N.C., is set for 2:30 p.m.