RIO GRANDE, Ohio — The entire 2018 season has been an offensive struggle for the Point Park University softball team.
It was a case of “second verse, same as the first” for the Pioneers on Saturday afternoon against the University of Rio Grande.
The RedStorm celebrated Senior Day by limiting their guests to just six hits in a pair of shutout victories — 3-0 and 6-0 — at Rio Softball Park.
Rio Grande finished the day at 30-11 overall and 14-2 in River States Conference play.
Point Park slipped to 10-18 overall and 7-7 in league play as a result of the sweep.
Junior Kelsey Conkey (Minford, OH) tossed a four-hitter in Rio’s game one triumph, striking out six en route to a 15th win in 17 decisions.
Senior Mallory Powell (Flatwoods, KY), the reigning RSC Pitcher of the Week and one of four RedStorm players honored in ceremonies prior to the start of the twinbill, tossed her second two-hit shutout in as many days in the nightcap.
Rio Grande had just five hits of its own in the first game — four of which went for extra bases.
Sophomore Michaela Criner (Bremen, OH) gave the RedStorm the only run it would need in the third inning with a solo home run, her 12th circuit-clout of the year.
The RedStorm added two more runs in the fourth on a leadoff double by Conkey, a one-out RBI double by freshman Mary Pica (Minford, OH) and a run-scoring single by junior Carly Skeese (Newark, OH).
Conkey finished with two doubles in the winning effort.
Maddie Horn had two of Point Park’s four hits, while Katie Tarr started and took the loss for the Pioneers.
In game two, Powell was locked in a scoreless pitcher’s duel with PPU starter Ashley Iagnemma until Rio erupted for six hits and four runs in the fifth inning.
Conkey had an RBI single and Powell helped her own cause with a two-run single to highlight the scoring spurt.
The RedStorm tacked on two more runs in the sixth thanks to an RBI double by sophomore Lexi Philen (Tallmadge, OH) and a sacrifice fly by Conkey.
Freshman Kayla Slutz (Navarre, OH) finished 3-for-3 in the victory.
Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director at the University of Rio Grande.