From University of Rochester Athletics
Brittany Grage tied the single-season home run record on Sunday by hitting three home runs as Rochester split a Liberty League doubleheader with Skidmore College. The Thoroughbreds won the opener, 10-9, and Rochester held on for a 7-6 win in game two.
With the split, Rochester stands at 7-1 in the Liberty League, 21-8 overall. The Yellowjackets hold a two-game lead over RPI (5-3) in the current standings. St. Lawrence (5-5) is third, with Union fourth (4-4). Skidmore and Clarkson are both 3-5. RIT is 3-7.
The top four teams advance to the Liberty League championship tournament which will be hosted by the top seed on April 30-May 2. This coming weekend, Rochester hosts RIT on April 25 and goes to St. Lawrence on April 26. Union hosts RPI on Saturday, travels to Skidmore on Sunday. RPI finishes at Clarkson on Sunday. Skidmore visits Clarkson on Saturday.
Grage drove in three runs in the opener on two hits, including a three-run home run in the top of the seventh that helped extend Rochester's lead. The Yellowjackets scored five runs in the seventh and opened a 9-3 advantage. Skidmore rallied for seven runs in the bottom of the seventh – three unearned – and won the game on a two-run home run by Casey Attonito.
With two home runs and four more RBIs in game two, Grage raised her totals to 14 home runs and 51 RBIs this season. She tied Nina Korn's record of 14 home runs set in 2014. The 51 RBIs leave her seven shy of Korn's record 58 RBIs in 2014.
Sarah Wayson, Shelby Corning, Jocelyn Blackshear, Gabrielle Alatorre, and Kayla Kibling each had two hits in the opener. Eleni Wechsler singled in one run in the third in the opener and Wayson scored two more with a single. The Yellowjackets strung together six straight singles in the rally.
Rochester's fourth run was scored by pinch-runner Cathleen Konopka on a wild pitch. She ran for Rachael Roddenbery who doubled leading off the inning. In the seventh, Julia Liberto singled, moved to third on Kibling's double, and scoring on Corning's single. Grage homered for three more. Wayson singled, took second when the ball was misplayed, and scored on a two-out double by Alatorre.
Skidmore didn't give up. The Thoroughbreds had three of the first four get on with singles and drew within 9-4. Grage left, replaced by Sam Malecki. She gave up an RBI single to Lauren Fortunato and a two-run double to Lauren Gorstein who took third when the ball was misplayed.
Grage returned. An infield error led to another run (9-8). Grage fanned May-Lin McEvoy for her sixth strikeout. Attonito, who was 1-3 at that point, hit a 2-1 pitch over the right field fence for the gamewinning HR.
In game two, the Yellowjackets managed three hits over the first four innings (one was Grage's solo HR in the first) before breaking out with five runs in the fifth. Alatorre doubled. Roddenbery's sack bunt was misplayed. She reached third base and Alatorre scored unearned. Liberto singled home Roddenbery (3-0). Liberto advanced on a wild pitch and scored on Kibling's single to center. Corning bunted her to second and Grage followed with a home run to left.
The Thoroughbreds put together four hits – three were back-to-back-to-back doubles along with a hit batsman and pulled within 6-5. Skidmore got evcen in the sixth. Lizzette Roman-Johnston singled and took second on an outfield misplay. Fortunato singled, moving her to third. Wechsler uncorked a wild pitch which scored Roman-Johnston with the tying run. Fortunato moved to second, then was thrown out trying to get to third. Wechsler got out of the inning with a popup and a groundout.
In the Rochester seventh, Corning tripled to left and Grage hit a sac fly to right. Wechsler doubled, but was stranded there: Wayson and Blackshear flied out.
Wechsler worked a 1-2-3 seventh, retiring Attonito on a foul pop to Grage at third, getting Sam Skott to pop to the mound, and Mackenzie Whiting to line out to Kibling at short.