From University of Rochester Athletics
The University of Rochester clinched an automatic berth into the NCAA Division III softball championships by sweeping two games from Skidmore College on Saturday afternoon.
Rochester (26-21) defeated Skidmore, 4-2 and 7-0.
The 2016 appearance will be Rochester's seventh foray into the NCAA Division III softball playoffs, its third straight and fourth in the last five years. Pairings and locations will be announced on Monday by the NCAA Division III Softball Committee.
Eleni Wechsler pitched a complete-game shutout in game two for Rochester. She allowed four hits, walked one, and struck out four. Elizabeth Bourne earned the game one victory for UR and Sam Malecki picked up the save. In six innings, Bourne yielded seven hits, walked three, and struck out three. Both runs against her were earned.
Amanda Carilli went the distance in both games for Skidmore. She allowed seven hits, four earned runs, and walked two in the 4-2 opener. In the second game, she gave up nine hits and one walk. Only two of the seven runs were earned.
Carilli beat RPI, 4-1, on Thursday afternoon in Skidmore's first game. In Friday's opener, she outdueled Wechsler, 5-0, by throwing a four-hitter. That put Skidmore into Saturday's championship bracket. Rochester had to win an elimination game on Friday afternoon to advance. The Yellowjackets defeated RPI, 5-1, behind Bourne's six-hitter.
Saturday's Game One:
Skidmore loaded the bases against Bourne in the first inning. Dani DeGregory singled and Karli Fishkin walked. After a lineout to short center, May-Lin McEvoy singled to center, putting runners everywhere. Kristina Foley grounded to short and Kayla Kibling threw home for the force on DeGregory. Cassie Fishkin lined out to center, ending the threat.
Rochester broke through to score four runs in the second inning. With two down, Bourne doubled to centerfield. Wechsler walked. Caitlyn Price singled through the right side, scoring Bourne and sending Wechsler to third. Price took second on the throw. Both women scored on Shelby Corning's double to left center and Corning came home on an RBI single by Kibling.
The Yellowjackets threatened in the fourth. With two down, Price and Corning singled. Kibling walked and Carilli got Harleigh Kaczegowicz on a flyout to center. In the bottom of the fifth, Rachael Pletz doubled. Pinch-runner Jackie Yencik was doubled off second when Karli Fishkin leaped to snare Lauren Muni's liner and threw to DeGregory to complete the DP.
Skidmore's bats were quiet over the next four innings, but the Throughbreds showed some life in the sixth. McEvoy and Foley hit one-out singled. After a flyout with runners holding, Bourne walked Lila Rosenfeld to load the bases, then walked pinch-hitter Rochelle Brown to force in McEvoy with the first Skidmore run. She got out of the jam, striking out pinch-hitter Mary Farrington on a full count with DeGregory (2-3 at that point) lurking in the on-deck circle.
In the seventh, DeGregory doubled to the base of the center field fence. She took third on Karli Fishkin's pop fly single to left and Fishkin got to second on the throw. Bourne left for Malecki. She retired Lauren Fortunato on a groundout to Kibling (with DeGregory scoring the second Thoroughbred run), then got a pop out and flyout to end it.
Saturday's Game Two:
Rochester scored three in the first, two of them on a series of errors. The Yellowjackets added one in the second, and scored three more in the fourth. All three were unearned and came home on a three-run homer by Pletz, her second home run of the tournament.
In the first, Pletz was aboard with two down. Bourne singled. Jocelyn Blackshear singled her home. When the ball was misplayed, Blackshear reached second and Bourne went to third. Wechsler hit a swinging bunt about 30 feet up the first base line. The throw to first sailed down the right field line. Both runs scored.
Kibling singled with two down in the second. Kaczegowicz doubled to right center for a 4-0 lead. In the fourth, it was another two-out rally. Kibling walked. Kaczegowicz' infield grounder deflected off a fielder's glove for an error. Pletz hit the next pitch over the left center field fence.
Wechsler allowed two baserunners over the first four innings as Rochester took control offensively. In the fourth, she gave up a leadoff single to McEvoy, then got a forceout and a strikeout before walking Jill Strileckis. She struck out pinch-hitter Rochelle Brown to end the inning. In the seventh, McEvoy picked up her second hit with a one-out bouncer up the middle. Cassie Fishkin fouled out to left. Lila Rosenfeld singled off Wechsler's glove. Strileckis hit into a force play to end the game.
Emily Lazarus (RIT), Morgan Kollmeier (RPI), May-Lin McEvoy (Skidmore), Amanda Carilli (Skidmore), Dani DeGregory (Skidmore), Rachel Pletz (Rochester), Elizabeth Bourne (Rochester), Eleni Wechsler (Rochester). MVP – Kayla Kibling (Rochester).