RIO GRANDE, Ohio — The University of Rio Grande rebounded from Saturday’s game two walk-off loss at St. Mary-of-the-Woods, posting a sweep of Thomas More (Ky.) University, Monday afternoon, in non-conference doubleheader action at chilly Rio Softball Park.
The RedStorm rallied late to win game one, 3-1, and then held on late for an 8-6 triumph in the nightcap.
The sweep left head coach Chris Hammond’s team at 22-10 for the season.
Thomas More, which is in its final season as a member of the NAIA’s Mid-South Conference before moving to NCAA Division II, dropped to 10-17 with the two losses.
Monday’s opener was tied at 1-all entering the home half of the sixth inning when Rio mounted its winning rally.
Junior Taylor Webb (Willow Wood, OH) reached on a one-out single and senior Zoe Doll (Minford, OH) followed with a double to right-center. Both scored moments later on a triple to right by senior Kenzie Cremeens (Ironton, OH).
Sophomore Kali Brickman (Huber Heights, OH), who got the starting nod for Rio in the pitcher’s circle, retired the Saints in order in the seventh to nail down the victory.
Brickman got her third win in six decisions, scattering nine hits and a walk while striking out three.
Doll finished 2-for-3 with an RBI in the win, while senior Shelby Schmitt (Fairfield, OH) was 2-for-3 with a triple and sophomore Christen Risner (Wheelersburg, OH) added a double.
Caitlyn Dawson went 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI for the Saints, while Mattison Fisher was 2-for-3 with a double and Elana Harrison had two hits of her own.
Adrian Marquez added a double in a losing cause for TMU.
Annika Gels was the hard-luck loser in the circle for Thomas More, allowing seven hits and a walk to go along with six strikeouts in a complete game effort.
In game two, Rio Grande built a 5-0 lead after two innings only to see its guest close to within 5-4 in the fifth inning.
The RedStorm got one run back in the home fifth and pushed across two more markers in the sixth to make it 8-4, but the Saints scored a pair of unearned runs in the seventh and had the would-be go-ahead run at the plate when the final out was recorded.
Freshman Jenna Myers (Hebron, OH) led Rio offensively, going 2-for-4 with a double and three runs batted in. Webb had two hits, including a double, and two RBI, while sophomore Caitlyn Brisker (Oak Hill, OH) was 2-for-4 with a triple and an RBI.
Schmitt also went 2-for-4 with an RBI and Doll contributed a double and a run batted in.
Freshman Hannah Beers (Springfield, OH) earned the win in relief, allowing a hit and a run with two strikeouts over 1-2/3 innings.
Senior Raelynn Hastings (Commercial Point, OH) earned a save with two innings of two-hit, three-strikeout relief.
Hannah Bishop, the first of three pitchers for TMU, suffered her sixth loss in seven decisions, allowing six hits and five runs over two innings.
Hailey McAdoo and Harrison had two hits apiece in the loss, while Baylee Hobeika doubled and drove in two runs.
Rio Grande returns to action on Friday when it opens a weekend River States Conference road swing to Pittsburgh against Point Park University.
Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director for the University of Rio Grande.