THOMASVILLE, Ga. — Kelsey Conkey tossed a complete game three-hitter and the University of Rio Grande rallied late to post a 2-1 win over Thomas University, Saturday night, in the finale of the Thomas University Softball Classic at Thomas County Central High School’s Jackets Field.
The victory came on the heels of a 6-5 loss to 19th-ranked University of Mobile (Ala.) earlier in the day and left the RedStorm – who are ranked No. 23 – at 3-3 for the season.
Thomas suffered its first loss in eight outings.
Conkey, a junior from Minford, Ohio, scattered three singles and walked one while striking out six in the winning effort.
All of the hits came in the fourth inning when the Night Hawks grabbed a 1-0 lead. Victoria Camina led off with a single, stole second second, moved to third on a infield single by Kaitlyn Stoltz and scored on a two-out hit by Kelsey Connolly.
That’s how things stayed until the home half of the sixth inning when Rio sophomore Michaela Criner (Bremen, OH) hit a one-out home run to knot the score at 1-1.
One out later, Conkey singled to left and senior Mallory Powell (Flatwoods, KY) followed with an RBI double to send the RedStorm in front.
Conkey retired the side in order in the seventh to seal the win.
Lauren West started and took the loss for Thomas.
In the opener against Mobile, the RedStorm scored four times in the fifth inning to erase a 3-0 deficit, but the Rams got three of the runs back in the bottom of the frame and then survived one last Rio comeback in the seventh.
Criner drove in the first Rio run in the fifth with an infield single, while Conkey delivered a three-run double to put the RedStorm in front.
Conkey also had a two-out RBI double in the seventh inning to pull Rio within a run, but Mobile’s Hope Cain fanned Powell to end the game.
Freshman Mary Pica (Minford, OH) had two hits, including a double, for the RedStorm while fellow frosh Aubrey Azbill (Miamisburg, OH) – the second of three pitchers – suffered the loss.
Maegan Walding finished 4-for-4 to lead the Rams’ 14-hit attack, while Destinee Cole, Kaitlyn Wood and Savannah Woodruff all had two hits each. Wood, who had a double among her two hits, also added two RBI.
Ashley Sprayberry also doubled and drove in one run for Mobile.
Rio Grande returns to action next weekend in Hardeeville, S.C. where it will face the University of South Carolina-Beaufort in a doubleheader on Friday and Coastal Georgia in a twin bill next Saturday.
Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director for the University of Rio Grande.