THOMASVILLE, Ga. – Mallory Powell tossed a one-hit shutout and helped her own cause at the plate with two hits and two RBI in the University of Rio Grande’s 8-0 mercy rule-shortened win over Montreal (N.C.) College, Friday afternoon, at the Thomas University Softball Classic.
The victory also allowed the RedStorm to record a split of its two outings after suffering a 4-3 loss at the hands of Truett McConnell University earlier in the day.
Rio Grande, ranked No. 23 in the NAIA preseason coaches’ poll, finished the day at 2-2.
Powell, a senior from Flatwoods, Ky., tossed 3-1/3 innings of no-hit softball before Montreat’s Kelsey Nolasco reached on a single to left field. She allowed just two other baserunners – both on walks – while striking out two over five innings.
The RedStorm got what proved to be the only run it would need in the opening inning on junior Kelsey Conkey’s (Minford, OH) second home run of the year.
The lead went to 2-0 in the third when Conkey reached on a two-out double and rode home on a single by Powell, but it was a six-run fifth inning uprising that sealed the victory.
Powell had an RBI triple, junior Carly Skeese (Newark, OH) had a run-scoring single and sophomore Michaela Criner (Bremen, OH) had a bases-loaded triple in the inning.
Freshman Mary Pica (Minford, OH) also finished 3-for-3 in the victory.
Danyelle Joli started and took the loss for the Cavaliers.
In the opener against Truett McConnell, Rio was within three outs of a victory, but failed to maintain a 2-1 seventh inning lead.
The Bears, who managed just four hits and an unearned run against Conkey over the first six innings, strung together six hits and scored three times in the seventh to take a 4-2 lead.
The RedStorm loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the inning and eventually closed to within a run when freshman Kayla Slutz (Navarre, OH) was hit by a pitch with two outs, but the comeback died – and the game ended – when Pica popped out to shortstop to leave the would-be tying and winning runs in scoring position.
Criner finished 2-for-3 with an RBI triple in the fourth inning that snapped a 1-1 tie, while Conkey allowed 10 hits and four runs – three earned – over 6-2/3 innings in suffering the loss.
Kaitlynn Hay had three hits and a drove in a run, while Milly Martinet went 2-for-4 and drove in a run for Truett McConnell (4-1). Brie Levy and Montana McGinnis also had a run batted in for the Bears.
Karley Hobbs earned the win in relief for TMU, allowing five hits and a pair of runs over five innings.
Rio Grande closes out its weekend schedule on Saturday, tangling with the University of Mobile (Ala.) at 2 p.m. and facing host Thomas University at 6 p.m.
Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director at the University of Rio Grande.