Softball sweeps Skidmore, wins four of six

SENIOR PITCHER KRISTINA WELTZIN FIRES a fastball during the Engineers first game against the Red Dragons of Oneonta. RPI lost 4-6 in the first game, but won 6-4 in the second game.

Women’s softball had a busy week, playing six games since the start of April. On April 1, the Engineers won a 2-1, extra innings nail-biter over the Plattsburgh State Cardinals in the first game of a doubleheader. Then, Plattsburgh matched RPI by winning 3-2 in eight innings in the second game of the afternoon. Two days later, women’s softball hosted the Skidmore College Thoroughbreds for a second doubleheader. The Engineers showed their poise again by outlasting the Thoroughbreds in two straight one-run games. Then, on Tuesday, April 7, the Engineers hosted the State University of New York at Oneonta Red Dragons for a third doubleheader.

In the first game of the doubleheader against Plattsburgh, both RPI senior starting pitcher Kristina Weltzin and Cardinals starting pitcher Morgan Anderson dominated, keeping the game scoreless through five innings. In the bottom of the sixth, junior catcher Taylor Ten Eyck doubled to start the inning. Then, after Plattsburgh pulled Anderson in favor of reliever Taylor Smith, senior third baseman Jena Servidone doubled in T. Ten Eyck and the Engineers took a 1-0 lead.

In the top of the seventh, the Cardinals responded. With two outs and catcher Jackie Decker on first, third baseman Hope VanBrocklin doubled, sending Decker home to tie the score at 1.

In the bottom of the eighth inning, T. Ten Eyck singled up the middle and junior second baseman Danielle Balestrini scored to give the Engineers the win.

In the second game of the doubleheader, T. Ten Eyck drilled a two-run homerun in the fourth inning to give the Engineers a 2-1 lead. It wasn’t enough though, as the Cardinals tied the score in the seventh and scored the eventual game-winning run in the eighth.

In the first game between RPI and Skidmore, junior designated hitter Morgan Ten Eyck broke a scoreless tie in the fourth inning off of a sophomore first baseman Stephanie Caudle RBI single. Then, in the fifth inning, Servidone doubled to bring in T. Ten Eyck, giving the Engineers a two-run cushion. Skidmore rallied in the seventh, scoring a run on a sacrifice fly by second baseman Dani DeGregory. Weltzin then shut the door on the Thoroughbreds, earning her sixth win of the season. On the day she allowed just one hit and struck out seven, leading the Engineers to a 2-1 win.

In the second game of the day, Caudle started at pitcher and helped herself on the offensive end in the early goings. Caudle blasted a two-run homer over the right field wall to put the Engineers up 2-0. Then, in the third, RPI loaded the bases with one out and managed to score two more runs.

Caudle struggled in the sixth inning, allowing three runs on three hits and a walk. Still, RPI led after six innings, 4-3. After an opening single by the Thoroughbreds in the top of the seventh, the Engineers finished the game by forcing Skidmore into a double play and a groundout. With the win, Caudle improved to a record of 4-2 and recorded four strikeouts, bringing her season total to 61.

Yesterday, the Engineers played two against Oneonta at Doris Robison Field. In a wild first game, both teams scored one run in the first seven innings. The Red Dragons scored in the first inning on a left-fielder Katie O’ Gorman single up the middle. In the second, an error by Oneonta shortstop Marlene Cuevas allowed M. Ten Eyck to score from third.

The next five frames resulted in zeros for each side, and the game went to extra innings tied at one. Then, in the top of the eighth inning, Oneonta catcher Brianna Rivera doubled into the left field gap to bring home centerfielder Ashley Lefebvre. RPI responded, scoring a run of its own on a Servidone single past the pitcher.

In the ninth, the Red Dragons loaded the bases with one out following a walk, an error, and a fielder’s choice. Then, second baseman Jamie Whittam took advantage of a pitch over the center of the plate by drilling it over the wall for a grand slam.

Down 6-2 in the bottom of the ninth, the Engineers desperately rallied to keep their hopes alive. Freshman infielder Kacie Herity scored on a wild pitch and freshman shortstop Victoria Greco scored on a centerfielder Christine White single. The rally came up short, though. The final score was Oneonta 6, Rensselaer 4.

In the second game of the doubleheader, the Red Dragons stayed hot early, scoring two runs in the top of the first. The Engineers wasted little time in retaliating. In the bottom of the second, RPI loaded the bases with two outs. Then, a throwing error by Oneonta pitcher Jenn Brocco allowed Caudle and freshman rightfielder Devan Puhl to score. A Balestrini single up the middle brought in Herity and senior centerfielder Kathleen Baker. After two innings, RPI led 4-2.

Runs by Oneonta in the third and fourth allowed them to tie the game at four. RPI junior starting pitcher Victoria Hepworth gave way to Caudle, who finished off the final three and two-thirds innings with five strikeouts and no runs allowed.

The game-winning run for Rensselaer came in the bottom of the fourth when sophomore leftfielder Morgan Kollmeier doubled to left to bat in Balestrini. Later, in the sixth inning, M. Ten Eyck also doubled to drive in Servidone.

The game ended with the Engineers winning 6-4. With four wins in six games, RPI improved to 12-4 on the season. Next up for Rensselaer is a road trip to western New York to face Rochester Institute of Technology and the University of Rochester on Saturday and Sunday, respectively.