Rio Grande senior Anna Smith allowed just two hits and an unearned run in a 1-0 loss to rival Shawnee State
Fri, Apr. 27, 2012 - [Softball]
By RANDY PAYTON
Rio Grande Sports Information
DANVILLE, Ky. - Shawnee State's Ali Thompson limited the University of Rio Grande to just one hit and the Bears pushed across an unearned run in the first inning to hand the RedStorm a 1-0 loss in a loser's bracket elimination game at the Mid-South Conference Softball Tournament, Friday morning, at Millineum Park's Panasonic Field.
The third-seeded Bears improved to 29-10 with the victory and remained alive in the double-elimination tourney, advancing to face No. 4 seed Campbellsville later in the day in another elimination contest.
Rio Grande, the tourney's fifth seed, finished 24-20 with the loss. The only hit the RedStorm managed against Thompson was a two-out double in the third inning by junior Kaylee Walk (Unionville Center, OH). Rio's only other baserunner in the contest was freshman Jessi Robinson (Wilmington, OH), who was hit by a pitch with one out in the first inning.
Thompson retired the side in order in five of the seven innings, including each of the final four frames. The right-hander sat down the final 13 batters she faced and finished with nine strikeouts.
Lost in Thompson's dazzling performance was a solid outing by Rio senior starter Anna Smith (Hamilton, OH), who allowed just two hits and five total baserunners in her final collegiate appearance in the circle.
Smith, who missed much of the final two weeks of the regular season with a back injury, also walked two and fanned four in the hard-luck loss.
In tournament play, Smith allowed just seven hits and one earned run in 18 innings (0.39 ERA), while walking five and striking out 18.
Shawnee scored the game's lone run in the first when Katy Bender drew a one-out walk and Ericka Leighty followed with a single to left which briefly eluded Walk for an error, allowing Bender to continue home.
The Bears left a runner in scoring position in the third when Jourdan Priddy reached on a passed ball while striking out with one out and stole second, but Smith retired each of the next two batters.
Shawnee also got a one-out single in the fourth by Brytan Givens and a two-out walk to Brooke Long, but Smith induced a popout back to the circle by Nikki Nance to escape the threat. The popout was the first of seven straight batters retired by Smith to end the game.
In addition to Smith, catcher Nicole Sargent (Pataskala, OH) and pitcher Allison Mills (West Chester, OH) played the final game of their careers in a Rio uniform.