RIO GRANDE, Ohio — The University of Rio Grande pushed across an unearned run in the second inning and rode a strong pitching performance by senior Raelynn Hastings for a 1-0 win over Lawrence Tech (Mich.) University in the opener of their doubleheader as part of the RedStorm Softball Classic, Saturday afternoon, at Rio Softball Park.
The visiting Blue Devils earned a split of the twnibill by posting a 6-5 victory in eight innings in the nightcap.
Rio scored what proved to be the winning run in the opener when freshman Caitlyn Brisker (Oak Hill, OH) was hit by a pitch with one out, moved to second on a two-out walk to fellow frosh Cierra Clark (Plain City, OH) and moved to third on a single by junior Shelby Schmitt (Fairfield, OH).
Brisker then scored moments later when junior Taylor Webb’s (Willow Wood, OH) grounder back to the circle was booted for an error by LTU starter Makayla Benz.
Once handed the lead, Hastings — a senior from Commercial Point, Ohio — was masterful.
She finished with a complete game four-hitter, while walking none and striking out seven for her sixth win in seven decisions.
Senior Kayla Slutz (Navarre, OH) led Rio Grande offensively, going 2-for-3.
Haley Mazon had two hits in a losing cause for the Blue Devils, while Benz took the loss despite tossing a four-hitter of her own and allowing the one unearned run.
In game two, Rio Grande coughed up an early 2-0 lead and then rallied from one-run deficits in the sixth and seventh frames before falling in the eighth after the game went to the International Tiebreaker Rule.
Sarah Hige’s one-out single in the top of the eighth scored pinch-runner Erin Wehler to break a 5-5 tie and put LTU in front.
The RedStorm put runners at second and third with two outs in the bottom of the inning, but Benz — the last of three Blue Devil pitchers — got senior Morgan Santos (Dayton, OH) to bounce back to the circle to end the game.
Schmitt went 3-for-3 and Brisker had two hits for Rio, while Slutz, freshman Lexi Carnahan (Felicity, OH) and freshman Sydney Campolo (New Lexington, OH) all had a double in the loss.
Campolo suffered the loss for Rio in a complete game effort.
Hige finished 3-for-4 with two RBI for Lawrence Tech, while Sydney Croskey went 3-for-4 with a double and an RBI. Lauren Lanphear added two hits and two RBI, while Callie Tatum was 2-for-4 with a double.