From University of Rochester Athletics
Eleni Wechsler spun a two-hitter to shut down the Nazareth offense and give Rochester a split of a softball doubleheader at Southside Field on Thursday afternoon.
The Yellowjackets won game two, 2-0, after the Golden Flyers rapped out 14 hits and won the opener, 6-4. Rochester improved to 11-17 overall. Nazareth is 12-8 overall. With the game one victory, Nazareth had eight wins in its last 11 games.
Wechsler walked one and struck out two to earn her seventh victory of the season. Rachel Mertens (6-4) took the loss for Nazareth. She scattered seven hits, did not walk anyone, and struck out one.
In the opener, Nicole White allowed five hits, four runs (three earned), walked four, and struck out three to get her fifth win of the year. Sam Malecki took the loss for Rochester. In 3.2 innings, she gave up nine hits, five runs (two earned), did not walk anyone, and struck out four. Elizabeth Bourne finished up, allowing five hits in 3.1 innings and one unearned run.
Wechsler's winning effort was helped by some key defensive plays. In the first, Sarah Papponetti reached on an error with one down. The Yellowjackets turned a 6-4-3 double play to close the inning. In the sixth (with UR up, 2-0), Delaney St. George walked. She was forced at second by Meghan Barry. Morgan Ross grounded an 0-2 pitch to Laurelle Byrne-Cody at second. She flipped the ball to shortstop Kayla Kibling to force Barry. Kibling's return throw to first sailed high and Ross advanced to second. Papponetti hit a 1-1 pitch down the first base line that struck the bag. Rochester's Rachael Pletz dove and grabbed it, then dove at the base, just beating Papponetti to the bag to end the sixth.
The Yellowjackets scored both of their runs in the fourth. Harley Kaczegowicz singled to left center. Wechsler doubled down the right field line, moving the runner to third. After Pletz popped up, Jocelyn Blackshear singled to right, scoring Kaczegowicz. Wechsler took third. Lauren Muni bunted back to the mound and Wechsler slid under the tag.
Rochester put two aboard in the fifth with one out – singles by Kibling and Kaczegowicz, but Wechsler fouled out and Pletz bounced out.
In game one, the Yellowjackets scored an unearned run on a delayed double steal for a 1-0 lead. Muni singled and advanced on a groundout. Jacqueline Yencik ran for her. Wechsler flied out. Kaczegowicz reached on a fielding error to put runners at the corners with two down. With Malecki at bat, Kaczegowicz took off for second. The Golden Flyers threw through, then came home when Yencik took off for the plate. She beat the throw for a 1-0 lead.
Nazareth scored six runs – four unearned – in the fourth to take the lead for good. With two out and one on, Samantha Rogalski singled home the tying run. Ross singled and when the ball was bobbled in the outfield, Barry scored the go-ahead run. Papponetti doubled in a run, chasing Malecki. Rogers doubled home two more and Carly Pike doubled in the final run.
The Yellowjackets scored three in their half of the fourth. Kibling hit a two-out, bases-loaded single to get UR within 6-3. With runners at the corners, Kibling got in a rundown and Mackenzie Cronin was able to score before Kibling was put out. That got the Yellowjackets within 6-4. They threatened once more – in the sixth. With two outs, Bourne walked to put runners at first and second. Pinch-hitter Gianni Melillo grounded out to close the threat.
White had three hits in the opener. Ross, Papponetti, and Pike all had two hits. Every player in the lineup had at least one hit.