Wed, Mar. 28, 2012 - [Softball]
Rio Grande Sports Information
RIO GRANDE, Ohio - The University of Rio Grande snapped a four-game losing slide in the opening game of a doubleheader with the University of Virginia-Wise, but the Cavaliers rebounded to post a win in the nightcap of Tuesday afternoon's Mid-South Conference twinbill between the two schools at Rio Softball Park.
The RedStorm recorded a 5-2 triumph in game one, while Wise built a 9-0 lead in game two and held on late for a 10-6 triumph. Rio Grande saw its record settle at 12-9 overall and 5-5 in the MSC with the split, while the Cavaliers went to 15-15 overall and 3-5 in league play.
The RedStorm built an early lead in game one and then rode a solid pitching performance from senior Anna Smith (Hamilton, OH) the rest of the way. The right-hander tossed a complete game three-hitter, while walking three and striking out 10, to improve to 7-5 in the circle.
Rio, which learned before the doubleheader that it will have to play without the services of junior third baseman and No. 2 hitter Jaymie Rector (Heath, OH) as a result of season-ending arm injury, scored three times in the second inning of the opener and never looked back.
Freshman Haley Gwin (Troy, OH) led off with a double and, one out later, freshman Sydney Morris (Cincinnati, OH) drew a walk before a wild pitch from Wise starter Kaylla Holdway put both runners in scoring position. Freshman Jessi Robinson (Wilmington, OH) followed with a routine grounder to the pitcher's circle, but Holdway threw wildly past first base allowing both runners to score. Robinson scored on a groundout by junior Katie Fuller (Hamilton, OH) moments later.
The RedStorm added single runs in the fourth and fifth innings - Smith had a sacrifice fly in the fourth and Gwin hit the first home run of her collegiate career in the fifth - to push the lead to 5-0.
Meanwhile, Smith allowed just one hit and only three baserunners total through the first five innings before the Cavaliers finally scored a breakthrough in the sixth with a pair of unearned runs. Kirsten Velazquez plated both runs with a two-out, bases-loaded single to left.
Gwin finished 2-for-3 for Rio Grande, while Velazquez had two of the three UVA-Wise hits.
Game two saw the Cavaliers take a 4-0 lead after two innings and a 9-0 lead into the home fifth before the RedStorm mounted a bit of a comeback to make things interesting.
Kristina Romulado had an RBI double, while Megan Dillon and Ashlee Washburn added run-scoring singles in the first inning for Wise and Allyssa Zebrowski's two-run run-producing hit in the second made it 4-0.
Zebrowski, Velazquez and Dillon all had run-scoring hits in a four-run fourth inning for Wise, as the Cavaliers forced Rio senior starter Allison Mills (West Chester, OH) out of the game. Zebrowski added her third RBI of the contest in the fifth inning against Morris on a bases-loaded fielder's choice grounder that increased the lead to 9-0 and put the RedStorm within three outs of being run-ruled for the second time for the season and the second time in a span of three games.
Junior Kaylee Walk (Unionville Center, OH) and Gwin delivered RBI hits around a run-scoring groundout by Smith to extend the game and Walk added a two-out RBI double in the sixth to close the gap to 9-4.
Prior to the back-to-back scoring frames, Wise starter Chelsey Booth had limited Rio to just two hits and a walk, while striking out seven.
UVA-Wise put one of the runs back on the board in the seventh when Morgan Mays led off with a single to right and scored on a double to left by Sarah Wiltshire, but the RedStorm again refused to go away quietly in their final at bat.
Senior Nicole Sargent (Pataskala, OH) drew a one-out walk, Gwin was hit by a pitch and junior Kaitie Stewart (Pleasant Hill, OH) followed with a run-scoring double to right-center to make it 10-5. Morris then plated Gwin with a groundout to first, but the rally - and the game - ended when Booth struck out freshman Megan Hayslip (Clarksville, OH) swinging.
Walk finished 3-for-4 and Fuller had two hits, while Mills suffered her fourth straight loss in the circle after beginning the season with five consecutive winning decisions.
Wiltshire, Zebrowski and Dillon all had three hits in the Cavs' 18-hit attack, while Velazquez, Washburn and Charity Lawson had two hits each. Booth finished with nine strikeouts in improving to 7-4.
Rio Grande returns to action on Thursday evening when it travels to Ohio Valley University for a doubleheader. First pitch for the opener is set for 6 p.m. at Jackson Memorial Park in Vienna, W.Va.