CRESTVIEW HILLS, Ky. — Kayla Slutz had a tie-breaking hit in the seventh inning of game one, while the junior duo of Kenzie Cremeens and Taylor Webb beat up on Thomas More University pitching in game two as the University of Rio Grande swept a non-conference softball doubleheader from the Saints, Monday afternoon, at Thomas More Field.
The RedStorm posted a 6-3 victory in the opener and cruised to a 12-3 triumph in the nightcap, pushing their overall record to 31-12.
Thomas More, a member of the NAIA’s Mid-South Conference, slipped to 17-22 as a result of the sweep.
The Saints rallied from a 3-0 deficit in game one with a three-run fourth inning rally, but Rio regained the lead for good thanks to Slutz’s seventh inning heroics.
Freshman Cierra Clark (Plain City, OH) was hit by a pitch to begin the rally, while a one-out single by freshman Caitlyn Brisker (Oak Hill, OH) and subsequent walk to Webb (Willow Wood, OH) loaded the bases.
One out later, Slutz — a senior from Navarre, Ohio — lined a bases-clearing double to the gap in right-center for a 6-3 lead.
Senior Raelynn Hastings (Commercial Point, OH) was called on in relief of freshman starter Kali Brickman (Huber Heights, OH) and retired the side in order in the home half of the seventh for a save.
Brickman scattered seven hits and a walk over six innings and pitched well outside of allowing three fourth inning markers. Elana Harrison had a leadoff home run to get TMU on the scoreboard and pinch-hitter Rebecca Mowen had a two-out, two-run single to knot the score at 3-all.
Rio had built its early lead on an RBI single by Webb and a steal of home by Brisker in the first inning and an RBI double by Webb in the third.
Slutz and Brisker had three hits each in the winning effort, while Webb finished 2-for-3 and senior Morgan Santos (Dayton, OH) had a double.
Hailey McAdoo had two hits for Thomas More, while Annika Gels went the distance in the pitcher’s circle in the loss.
Rio Grande blew things open early in game two with a four-run third inning turned the contest into a rout by scoring four times in the seventh inning.
Cremeens (Ironton, OH) tied a career-high with four hits, including a two-run home run in the four-run seventh.
Webb finished 2-for-4 with a double and four RBI, while junior Zoe Doll (Minford, OH) had three hits and a run batted in. Brisker, Santos and sophomore Christen Risner (Wheelersburg, OH) all had two hits in the victory.
Freshman Caity Moody (Xenia, OH) started and got the win, allowing six hits and three runs over four innings.
Fellow frosh Sydney Campolo (New Lexington, OH) earned a three-inning save, allowing a hit and a walk while striking out three.
McAdoo had a pair of doubles, Caitlyn Dawson was 2-for-3 with a double and Baylee Hobeika hit a solo home run.
Emily Wisman started and lost for the Saints, allowing four hits and four runs — three earned — over two innings.
Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director at the University of Rio Grande.