From University of Rochester Athletics
Brittany Grage hit a grand slam home run to cap a five-run rally in the bottom of the 10th inning as Rochester swept a non-conference doubleheader from Utica College, 4-0, and 9-5, at Southside Field on Wednesday afternoon.
The Yellowjackets won their eighth straight game and raised their record to 18-7. Utica is 10-12 overall.
Rochester needed big plays in its half because Utica took a 5-4 lead on the NCAA tiebreaker rule in the top of the 10th. Alysa Russell was placed at second. Alaina Wickwire flied out to center but Sabrina Stransky singled up the middle, scoring Russell with the go-ahead run.
In the Rochester 10th, Julia Liberto was placed at second base. After failing to bunt her over on the first two pitches. Gabriele Alatorre bounced a single through the middle, scoring Liberto to tie the game at 5-5. Rachael Roddenbery grounded to second with Alatorre moving to second. Tiffany White bounced back to the mound. Wickwire threw to third, but Alatorre beat the throw. With Kayla Kibling at bat, White took second base without a throw. Kibling was walked intentionally. Shelby Corning bounced back to the mound and Wickwire forced Alatorre at the plate for the second out. Grage hit the second pitch she saw over the left field fence for her 10thhome run of the season.
White and catcher Alyssa Murillo combined to keep the game tied in the Utica eighth. Stransky singled. After Courtney Fitzgerald flied out, pinch-hitter Abby Monroe bounced out with Stransky moving to second base. Stephanie Siriano singled to right. White threw a one-hopper to the plate where Murillo tagged out Stransky trying to score – and that ended the inning.
Grage picked up the win in each game. In the opener, she allowed three hits, two walks, and struck out six in seven innings for her third consecutive shutout. In game two, she worked five innings in relief of Eleni Wechsler. Grage allowed five hits, one unearned run, walked one, and struck out one. She raised her record to 7-2.
Monroe took the loss in game one for Utica. She allowed seven hits, four earned runs, walked two and struck out three in four innings. Brittany Meka pitched two innings of hitless relief.
In the nitecap, Wickwire (2-2) pitched seven innings of relief. She allowed nine hits, six runs (five earned), and walked two. Stransky pitched the first 2.2 innings for Utica. She gave up five hits, two walks, and three earned runs. She was relieved by Wickwire in the third when the Yellowjackets loaded the bases with two outs. Wickwire induced pinch-hitter Ashley Amidon to pop out, ending the threat.
Fitzgerald swung the big bat early for Utica in game two. She doubled home Stransky with two down in the first. Rochester scored three runs in its half – an RBI double by Grage and a two-run home run by Wechsler. Fitzgerald put Utica back in front, 4-3, in the top of the third. Russell reached on a fielder's choice and Wickwire singled. After Stransky fanned, Fitzgerald hit a three-run home run over the left field fence. Rochester tied it at 4-4 in the fourth. Murillo singled and pinch-runner Stephanie Brunet was bunted to second. Kayla Kibling singled her home.
In game one, Rochester scored a run in the first –Kibling tripled and Grage hit a sac fly. UR added three more in the fourth on four hits. Sarah Wayson singled and Laurelle Byrne-Cody ran for her. Liberto singled. Alatorre bunted both runners over. Murillo grounded out, scoring Byrne-Cody. Amidon pinch-hit for White and singled home Liberto. White returned, running for Amidon. She scored on Corning's single up the middle.
The Pioneers had a chance to climb back in it in the fifth. With one out, Wickwire and Dominque Soto singled. Grage fanned Christy Traglia for the second out. Russell bunted in front of the plate for a hit that loaded the bases,. Fitzgerald pinch-hit for Samantha Husak (who fanned in her two previous appearances) and Grage got her on a comebacker. Grage retired the side in order in the sixth and seventh.