UR split a doubleheader at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute on Saturday, April 21, winning the first game 5-1 and losing the second 6-9. The following day, on Sunday, April 22, the team rebounded and swept Union College with a pair of 9-4 and 4-2 wins.
RPI first baseman Gillian McCarthy hit a homerun in the second inning, putting the Engineers up 1-0. The momentum shifted in the third when sophomore first baseman Nina Korn stole second and sophomore shortstop Meg Hennessy scored on the throw, tying the game at 1-1.
A two-run triple by senior left fielder Cara Celorio in the sixth and a two-run homer by freshman pitcher and third baseman Brittany Grage in the seventh sealed the game for UR.
The second game did not go as smoothly for the Yellowjackets. In the second inning, a double by senior catcher Samantha Melvin brought home both sophomore second baseman Kristen Baldino and senior right fielder Natalee Sassaman. Then, senior center fielder Katie McLean scored in the third on a single by Grage. This put UR up 3-0.
However, RPI responded with a six-run third inning, putting them up 6-3. In the fourth, Celorio and McLean both scored thanks to a double to left center by Korn, but RPI just turned around and picked up three more runs. Baldino proceeded to score on a Melvin ground out in the fifth, but it was too little too late.
Union drew first blood in game one, when pitcher Allyson Staats singled up the middle in the first inning, allowing shortstop Lauren Hoffman to score. The ’Jackets had six straight runs, though, putting them up 6-1 in the fifth. Three of those runs came off of a Sassaman homer, which brought Korn and Grage home. Two solo home runs by Korn and Grage, and a run by Sassaman, gave UR a 9-3 lead at the end of the sixth. Union scored once more before losing. Grage and freshman pitcher Sarah Wayson combined to give up four runs and strike out five batters all in game one.
The second game began almost the same way the first did, with Staats homering to center field, allowing Hoffman to score. The Yellowjackets responded with four unanswered runs. Junior pitcher Madeline Skellie pitched 4.1 innings for UR, giving up one hit, one walk and zero runs, and earning three strikeouts, preventing Union from mounting any sort of comeback.
Grage was selected as the Liberty League Pitcher of the Week after raising her record to 8-4 after UR’s 9-4 victory over Union.
UR is 24-11 overall in league standings, 8-2 in the Liberty League, meaning that they have secured second place. They will be put to the test in the Liberty League Championships, which begin May 4 and go through May 6.
Ondo is a member of the class of 2014