On the wire in the eighth inning, with one player on base, sophomore right fielder Kim Grimes stepped up to bat and hit a two-run walk off home run against St. John Fisher College.

And, to no one’s surprise, she did it again.

After a shaky start to their season in Florida, the women’s softball team has been playing a different game since they’ve been back at UR.

Last Wednesday and Thursday they added four wins over two doubleheaders with the Fisher Cardinals and Rochester Institute of Technology Tigers to an overall seven game winning streak.

‘Our team is finally settling in,” sophomore third baseman Nikki Lee DiSalvio said. ‘We struggled a little in the beginning of the season with carrying momentum from game to game, but our seven game winning streak shows that we are carrying our wins over now. Everybody is playing their part in our success.”

In the first game against Fisher, the Cardinals took an early lead with a run in the second inning.

However, the Yellowjackets quickly answered when sophomore center fielder Katie McLean scored an inning later to put the pressure back on their opponents.

The game remained tied until the crack of the bat that was Grimes’ home run ending the game at 3-1 with runs by both sophomore outfielders Jaclyn Inglis and Grimes.

The ‘Jackets repeated their performance in the second game with another 3-1 win against the Cardinals, with runs made by senior catcher Juliana Nicholson, as well as McLean and Grimes.

Head coach Margaret Yerdon points to the Yellowjackets’ ability to work as a team as a significant factor in their success.

And with two wins under their belt from Wednesday’s games, they were ready to prove their teamwork when it came to the doubleheader against RIT the following day.

The first game against the Tigers was a shut-out, as the ‘Jackets brought the game to a 3-0 close. The second game was tougher as the teams fought for the lead. UR started out with two RBIs by junior shortstop Lindsay Macaluso and Grimes, but RIT returned with three runs in the next inning.

Not to be outdone at home, sophomore first baseman M.C. Wagner and leftfielder Cara Celorio brought UR back into the lead with two more runs. The game ended with another win for the Yellowjackets at 6-4, with sophomore utility player Samantha Melvin and junior utility player Erin Clark bringing in the other two runs.

After a seven-game winning streak, the ‘Jackets hit a minor setback after losing to Geneseo on April 7. Their work ethic and positive attitude will ensure a quick rebound as they look forward to the challenge that new opponents will bring.

‘Winning the past seven games has given us a positive momentum, but we stay level headed when it comes to each new game,” Grimes said.
Nicholson agreed. ‘We will continue to work on improving the smaller aspects of our game … that need to [happen] in order for us to win,” she said.

The Yellowjackets have come a long way since the start of the season, and their record has shown that hard work really does pay off.

‘The team has been doing an excellent job of executing the fundamentals,” Yerdon said. ‘We need to take the momentum from last week’s wins … and continue to get better with each game.”

Olfano is a member of the class of 2012.

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