RIO GRANDE, Ohio — University of Rio Grande senior Kelsey Conkey tossed a four-hit shutout in game one, while the RedStorm clubbed three home runs in a game two victory for a doubleheader sweep of Brescia University, Thursday afternoon, in River States Conference softball action at Rio Softball Park.
Rio posted a 2-0 win in the opener, while recording a 9-1 mercy rule-shortened triumph in the nightcap.
The RedStorm ran their record to 20-10 overall and 10-0 inside the RSC with the sweep.
Brescia fell to 6-18 overall and 2-8 in league play with the losses.
Conkey, a senior right-hander from Minford, Ohio, scattered four singles and struck out four in a complete game effort.
Rio Grande scored what proved to be the only run it would need in the bottom of the fourth when sophomore Mary Pica (Minford, OH) reached on a one-out single and scored on a two-out double by sophomore Kayla Slutz (Navarre, OH).
Junior Michaela Criner (Bremen, OH) accounted for the game’s final run when she led off the bottom of the fifth with her fifth home run of the year.
Slutz finished 2-for-2 in the win.
Cassie Moss went 3-for-3, while Lauren Willett started and took the loss for Brescia despite allowing just five hits and two runs over six innings.
Game two provided substantially less drama after Rio Grande hit two of its three homers in a five-run first inning.
The RedStorm took a 1-0 lead on a leadoff double by Criner and a run-scoring groundout by freshman Kenzie Cremeens (Ironton, OH). After a single by Conkey and a double by freshman Taylor Webb (Willow Wood, OH), Pica hit her first home run of the year to make it 4-0.
Skeese followed with her first longball of the year moments later to extend the advantage to 5-0.
Brescia avoided the shutout on a two-out RBI hit by Hayden Pulliam in the third, but Rio countered with a run-scoring single by sophomore Aubrey Azbill (Miamisburg, OH) in the bottom of the inning to make it 6-1.
The RedStorm finished things off by scoring three times in the home fourth on a two-run home run by Cremeens and a two-out RBI triple by Pica.
Pica finished 3-for-3 in the win, while Webb and junior Lexi Philen (Tallmadge, OH) had two hits each.
Sophomore Raelynn Hastings (Commercial Point, OH) allowed four hits and a run while striking out six to earn the win for Rio.
Erika Lambert started and took the loss for the Bearcats, allowing five hits and as many runs over just 2/3 of an inning.
Rio Grande is scheduled to return to action on Friday when Indiana University Southeast visits for another RSC doubleheader.
First pitch is set for 2 p.m.
The Grenadiers currently trail the RedStorm by just one game in the conference standings.
Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director at the University of Rio Grande.