PLANT CITY, FLA.- The Randolph softball team wrapped up its time in Florida on Tuesday afternoon and with rain playing havoc with the schedule, the WildCats' game with Worcester Polytechnic Institute was pushed to 3:00 p.m. and its scheduled contest with Muskingum cancelled. The WildCats would end their trip on a winning note as they defeated the Engineers 9-2.
The WildCats jumped on Engineers starting pitcher Mackenzie Phillips as Delaney Nuckols (Rockville, Va./Patrick Henry) led off with a single and Taylor Craft (Altavista, Va./Alltavista) walked. After Madison Brown (Forest, Va./Jefferson Forest) struck out, Nadia Tibbs (Lynchburg, Va./Brookville) doubled to left field to bring home Nuckols and Craft. Tibbs would score on a Hailey Thomas (Montpelier, Va./Patrick Henry) sacrifice fly to give Randolph a 3-0 lead.
WPI answered in the bottom of the first. The Enginners scored twice off of WildCat starting pitcher Lindsey Chaney (Charlottesville, Va./Covenant School) to close the score to 3-2.
The 'Cats tagged another run on Phillips as Brown doubled to centerfield to score Blair Epperson (Nathalie, Va./William Campbell). Nicole Kuberka came on in relief and after getting Tibbs to ground out, she would walk Courtney Lucado (Buchanan, Va./James River). Briana Harbison (Dumfries, Va./Potomac) stepped up and laced a single to center to plate a pair of runs and increase the Randolph lead to 6-2.
The WildCats scored once in the third as Danielle Shannon (Greensville, Va./Riverheads) singled in a run. Another pair of runs came across in the sixth as the Randolph lead grew to 9-2.
WPI looked to score their third run in the sixth but Leila Camplese was called out as Harbison threw to Lucado, who applied the tag. The Engineers also threatened in the bottom of the seventh. Two outs were recorded but two runners reached base on errors as WPI had runners at the corners. Chaney was able to come through as she induced a game-ending groundout to secure the victory.
Chaney surrendered two runs on eight hits. She walked three and struck out four. Both of WPI's extra base hits came in the first inning as the Randolph defense held the Engineers in check. She improves to 6-0 on the season as is the first Randolph pitcher to do so since Hannah Winfree last did it in 2014.
Brown and Tibbs were both 1-for-4 at the plate with a double, two runs batted in, and a run scored. Thomas was 1-for-3 with a run scored and a run batted in. Harbison was 1-for-3 with two runs batted in.
Randolph (7-3) returns to Lynchburg and will host Wilson on Saturday. Game times are at 1:00 and 3:00 p.m.