Rio Grande Sports Information
CANNONSBURG, Ky. - Like any athletic program, the University of Rio Grande softball team has enjoyed - and endured - its share of streaks over the years.
But the RedStorm has never before seen a string of success like the one they're currently involved in.
Head coach Chris Hammond's club extended its school-record winning streak to 21 straight games with a doubleheader sweep of Kentucky Christian University, Friday afternoon, in non-conference play at the Championship Fastpitch Complex.
The victories - by scores of 15-7 and 8-1 - improved the RedStorm's season mark to 32-6.
Kentucky Christian, an independent NAIA school, slipped to 2-16 with the losses.
Rio Grande was in position for a mercy rule-shortened win in both contests, but the Knights scored late in each game to ensure that both went the distance.
The RedStorm sent 15 batters to the plate and scored 11 times in the third inning of the opening game, but KCU pushed across five markers in the home half of the fifth inning to draw within 11-7.
Rio scored twice in each of its final two at bats to set the final score.
Senior Alex Stevens (Oak Hill, OH) had three hits and drove in two runs to pace the RedStorm offense, while junior Tayler Arndt (Clyde, OH), senior Kari Jenkins (Jackson, OH), freshman Michaela Criner (Lancaster, OH) and senior Courtney Walk (Unionville Center, OH) all had two hits each.
Arndt also had three RBI in the victory, while sophomore Kelsey Conkey (Minford, OH) clubbed a three-run home run and junior Gabby Gregg (Ashville, OH) had a double as part of the 11-run third inning uprising.
Junior Mallory Powell (Flatwoods, KY) started and pitched into the fifth inning for her fourth win in five decisions. Senior Jenna Jones (Lancaster, OH) came on to put down the Knights' fifth inning rally and finished things out to earn her third save.
Whitney McKay started and went the distance in a losing cause for KCU.
Cassie Adkins led the Knights offensively, going 3-for-4 with a home run, two doubles and three RBI. Mackenzie Vanover also had three hits, including a double and a three-run home run.
In the nightcap, Rio Grande parlayed a four-run third inning and a three-run fourth into an 8-0 lead and an eventual easy win.
Stevens had three more hits and drove in two runs, while Criner also had three hits - including a home run and a double - and plated a pair of runs herself.
Conkey contributed two hits and a run batted in to the winning effort, while Gregg added another double.
Conkey earned her 14th win in 15 decisions, allowing two hits and no runs in a scripted three-inning outing. Sophomore Kacee Jenkins (Jackson, OH) tossed a scoreless fourth inning and senior Tiffany Bise (Circleville, OH) allowed one run in three innings of relief.
Adkins had a double and an RBI for KCU, while Jade Spurlock also doubled in a losing cause.
Adkins started and took the loss for the Knights, allowing five runs - only two of which were earned - over three innings.
Rio Grande returns to action on Tuesday, traveling to rival Shawnee State University for a non-conference twinbill. First pitch for the opener is set for 3 p.m.