RIO GRANDE, Ohio — While delayed by two hours at the beginning due to rain, the University of Rio Grande’s final two home contests of the 2022 proved to be worth the wait.
The RedStorm scored early and often in both ends of their Senior Day twin bill with Carlow University, posting a pair of mercy rule-shortened wins over the Celtics in River States Conference softball action, Saturday afternoon, at Rio Softball Park.
Head coach Chris Hammond’s squad recorded a 14-1 five-inning victory in the opener and a 9-1 triumph in six innings in the nightcap, improving to 37-11 overall and 22-2 in conference play.
The win also secured the league’s regular season championship, the top seed in the upcoming RSC Tournament and a berth in the NAIA National Championship Tournament.
Carlow finished the day at 9-35-1 overall and 5-21 in the RSC.
The senior quartet honored before the opening game — Kenzie Cremeens (Ironton, OH), Zoe Doll (Minford, OH), Raelynn Hastings (Commercial Point, OH) and Shelby Schmitt (Fairfield, OH) — all played direct roles in both wins.
Doll, Cremeens and Schmitt combined for four hits and five RBI in game one, while Hastings tossed a one-hitter in the circle for her 15th win in 21 decisions.
Carlow got its lone run in the first inning, but Rio countered with five runs in the first, one run in the second, five more markers in the third and three runs in the fourth.
Sophomore Lexi Carnahan (Felicity, OH) went 3-for-3 with a double and two RBI, while sophomore Caitlyn Brisker (Oak Hill, OH) went 2-for-3 with a home run and three RBI and freshman Jenna Myers (Hebron, OH) was 2-for-2 with two runs batted in.
Schmitt had two hits, including a triple, while Doll doubled and drove in three runs and Cremeens had two RBI of her own in the winning effort.
Maddie Bowes plated the lone Carlow run, while Morgan Pierce went the distance in the circle and took the loss for the Celtics.
In the nightcap, Schmitt, Doll and Creemens teamed for six hits and six RBI in the Rio rout.
The RedStorm scored twice in the first, three times in the second and once in the third to take a 6-0 lead, then added two runs in the fifth and one in the sixth to finish things off.
Schmitt went 3-for-4 with a triple and a run batted in, while Doll was 2-for-3 with a home run, a double and three RBI. Cremeens finished 1-for-1 with a walk and two RBI and Carnahan added a double to the winning effort.
Sophomore Sydney Campolo (New Lexington, OH) allowed three hits and three walks over five innings to get her 14th win in 15 decisions. She struck out four.
Clara Niglio started and lost for Carlow, allowing six hits and five runs over two innings.
Adrianna Gottheld tripled and Hannah Gallagher drove in a run for the Celtics.
Weather permitting, Rio Grande is slated to wrap up its regular season schedule at NCAA Division I Morehead State University on Tuesday.
Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director for the University of Rio Grande.