From University of Rochester Athletics
Nina Korn drove in three runs and scored a fourth while Brittany
Grage scattered five hits for the University of Rochester in a 6-0
victory over Marywood University in the first round of the NCAA
Division III Softball Championships at Southside Field on
Rochester's victory (27-11) moves the Yellowjackets into Saturday's winner's round against Alfred University, a 4-1 winner over Messiah College in Friday's first game. Rochester and Alfred will play at 11 a.m. Messiah will play Marywood at 1:30 p.m. in an elimination game. The winner of the 11 a.m. game moves into Sunday's championship round, scheduled for 12 p.m. The Alfred-Rochester loser will play the winner of Marywood-Messiah at 4 p.m. Saturday to determine the second team for Sunday's final round.
Grage allowed five hits and struck out four without issuing a walk. She improved to 14-6. The loss went to Marywood's Lindsay Gibbs (13-5). She allowed nine hits and five earned runs. She walked four and struck out four. Alyssa Bavaro relieved in the sixth. She gave up a walk, one run, and an RBI single.
Rochester left eight runners on base in the first four innings – five in the first two as Gibbs worked out of a big first-inning jam. Tayler Fravel reached on an infield single, took second on a wild pitch. She held at second when Meg Hennessy's pop fly to left fell in for a hit. Korn walked.
Gibbs got Eleni Wechsler to foul out. Lauren Muni forced Fravel and home, and Gibbs struck out Grage for the third out. Last week in the CSAC playoffs, Gibbs worked out of four three-on, none-out jams.
"She's a great pitcher," said Marywood coach Bob Fitzsimmons. "In the bottom of the first, things could have gone south for us quickly. (After she got out of it) our kids got behind her and played well."
Rochester hit the ball well last weekend to win the Liberty League's automatic qualifier. "There was a lot of talk about last week," Korn said. "I was just trying to get anything through the infield to move runners along."
She got a chance with two outs in the second. Tiffany White singled to shirt and Fravel singled to left center. White advanced on a wild pitch and Fravel quickly stole second. Hennessy walked.
Korn hit a 2-1 pitch down the right field line for a three-run triple. "Her stats speak for themselves," Fitzsimmons said. "She got on top of the pitch and this was the second time she got to look at Lindsay."
Grage retired the first nine hitters before Diana Butash singled leading off the fourth. Butash had two hits as did Stephanie Bagniewski.
"In the Liberty League last week, we had played everyone before," Grage said. The Yellowjackets hadn't seen Marywood before. "The first time through the lineup, I tried to pitch to each spot (to see what would be effective)."
Marymount threatened in the sixth with Rochester still holding that 3-0 lead. With one out, Butash singled. She was forced at second, but Mariah Runco singled up the middle. Grage struck out Brooke Labs to end the inning.
"There were a couple of times that this just didn't fall in for us," Fitzsimmons said.
Rochester scored three more runs in the sixth. With one out, Fravel singled to short. Hennessy lined a double to left center that scored Fravel and brought Bavaro to the mound. A wild pitch moved Hennessy to third. Korn walked and stole second. Wechsler singled down the left field line for two more runs.
"We had timely hitting when we had runners in scoring position," said Rochester coach Margaret Yerdon-Grange. "Nina's been really great at getting timely hits."