From University of Rochester Athletics
Brittany Grage threw a complete game five hit shutout and was
backed by two home runs as the University of Rochester defeated
15th-ranked Rowan University, 5-0, in the NCAA Division
III Softball Super-Regional on Thursday afternoon.
The best-of-three format will continue on Friday at 1 p.m. If Rowan wins game two, the teams will play game three at 3:30 p.m. Friday. The winner of the Super Regional advances to Tyler, Texas for the national finals on May 22-27.
Grage walked one and struck out two to earn her 17th win of the season. She induced 17 ground ball outs.
"As long as Brit keeps the ball down and gets ground balls, I thought we'd be OK," said Rochester head coach Margaret Yerdon-Grange.
Grage needed a big strikeout in the fifth when the Profs (37-11) threatened to even the score. Rochester led, 2-0. With two down, Shilah Snead doubled to deep center. Jennifer Arcella lined ball off Grage's forearm with Snead racing to third.
That brought up designated player Ashley DeYoung. The sophomore hit a long double in the first inning and walked in the third. Arcella stole second with the count 2-2 on DeYoung. It ran full before Grage got a called strike three to end the inning.
The Yellowjackets took a 1-0 lead in the third against Krysti Maronski. With two outs, Meg Hennessy lifted a long fly to left center that the wind carried into the top of the fence. Hennessy raced to third and scored when the ball was mishandled in the outfield, then the throw home was off the plate. In the fourth, Lauren Muni homered over the left centerfield fence for a 2-0 lead.
Maronski was replaced by Beth Ann Hyland. She set down three straight hitters to end the fourth. In 3.0 innings, Maronski allowed four hits, two runs (one earned) with no walks and three strikeouts. Hyland pitched 1.1 innings, allowing three hits, three runs (all earned), with no walks and no strikeouts. N
Both coaches felt the wind was a factor. "The wind had a lot to do with it," said Rowan coach Kim Wilson. "Balls hit (into the outfield) went farther than we wanted."
"I thought the wind would help our hitters," said Yerdon-Grange.
Rochester added three more runs in the fifth. Tiffany White singled, but was forced at second by Tayler Fravel. Hennessy, who was 3-for-3, bunted for a single. Nina Korn hit a 1-2 pitch down the left field foul line for a three-run home run. It was Korn's 13th home run of the year, tying a record she set last year with Gena Bradford-Tume.
Hyland was replaced by Allison Nolan. She retired five of the seven hitters she faced in the last 1.2 innings. Muni singled in the fifth and White walked in the sixth. Nolan had one strikeout.
Rowan threatened early. With two outs, DeYoung doubled to deep center and Alysa Romero drove a single to right, advancing DeYoung to third. Maronski bounced out to end the inning.
NOTES: Maronski struck out three, boosting her single-season total to 243. She is three strikeouts away from tying Colleen Oswald's record of 246 set in 2006… Korn was 2-3, giving her 204 career hits. That ties the Rochester record for career base hits, set by Jena Robertson (2004-2007)…. This was only the second time Rochester and Rowan played in softball. The first game came in 2008… Through game one of the Super Regional, Rowan has played 90 NCAA playoff games (47-43). Rochester has played 23 (14-9).