COLUMBUS, Ga. — Caitlyn Brisker clubbed a two-run home run in the bottom of the sixth inning to finish off the University of Rio Grande’s comeback effort and lift the RedStorm to a 4-3 win over Ave Maria (Fla.) University in Sunday’s wrap-up to the National Fastpitch Coaches Association’s (NFCA) Leadoff Classic at South Commons Park.
Rio Grande improved to 6-4 with the victory.
Ave Maria slipped to 3-4 with the loss.
The Gyrenes scored single markers in both the third and fifth innings to grab a 2-0 lead, but the RedStorm rallied to tie the game in the home half of the fifth thanks to a run-scoring infield single by freshman Jenna Myers (Hebron, OH) and a RBI double by senior Zoe Doll (Minford, OH).
Rio Grande completed the comeback in the sixth when freshman pinch-hitter Megan Bazler (Portsmouth, OH) led off with a walk and was replaced at first by freshman pinch-runner Hannah Beers (Springfield, OH).
One out later, Brisker — a sophomore from Oak Hill, Ohio — hit homered to left — her second long ball of the season — to put the RedStorm in front to stay.
Ave Maria got one of the runs back with two outs in the seventh, but Rio senior starter Raelynn Hastings (Commercial Point, OH) retired Kylee Lewis on a routine grounder to third to end the game.
Doll finished 3-for-3 with a pair of doubles, while Brisker and Myers finished with two hits each.
Hastings improved to 5-2 with the win, scattering 11 hits in a complete game effort. She walked one and struck out six.
Morgan Grimm had three hits and drove in two runs for Ave Maria, while Maggie Hampton finished 3-for-4 with a run batted in and Elena Dybiec added a double.
Kassandra Clark went the distance in the circle for the Gyrenes, allowing nine hits and a walk. She struck out five.
Rio Grande is scheduled to return to action on Friday afternoon with a doubleheader at Alice Lloyd College.
First pitch for game one is slated for 1 p.m.
Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director for the University of Rio Grande.