PORTSMOUTH, Ohio — The University of Rio Grande clubbed three home runs to fuel an opening game win, while hitting two more circuit clouts in the nightcap to fuel a doubleheader sweep of Shawnee State University on Tuesday in non-conference action at Portsmouth High School’s Trojan Field.
The RedStorm scored seven times in the first inning of an 8-0 mercy rule-shortened game one triumph, while posting a 5-1 victory in game two to sweep the season series from the rival Bears.
Rio Grande upped its season record to 38-13 with the sweep.
Shawnee State dropped to 8-28 with the two losses.
All three of the Rio homers in game one came in the seven-run first inning explosion.
Freshman Caitlyn Brisker (Oak Hill, OH), who was named River States Conference Player of the Week on Monday, led off with a single, moved to second on a walk to senior Morgan Santos (Dayton, OH) and scored when junior Taylor Webb (Willow Wood, OH) hit an opposite field three-run home run to left-center.
Junior Kenzie Cremers (Ironton, OH) followed with a solo homer to left to make it 4-0 before senior Kayla Slutz (Navarre, OH) was hit by a pitch and junior Zoe Doll (Minford, OH) reached on a single to signal the end of the day for Shawnee State starter Sydney Spence.
SSU reliever Madison Sifford came on to retire each of the next two batters before freshman Lexi Carnahan (Felicity, OH) hammered a long home run to left to make it 7-0.
The RedStorm finished the scoring in the top of the second on consecutive doubles by Webb and Cremeens.
Meanwhile, Rio senior starter Raelynn Hastings (Commercial Point, OH) limited the Bears to one hit over four innings to earn her 17th win in 20 decisions.
Freshman Sydney Campolo (New Lexington, OH), who was named the RSC Pitcher of the Week on Monday, pitched a perfect fifth inning to close out the win.
Webb finished 3-for-3 with a home run and a pair of doubles, while Cremeens finished 2-for-3.
Webb hit a two-run first inning homer in game two and Brisker added a booming solo shot to right-center in the fifth inning to extend the lead to 3-0.
Campolo started in the circle in game two and retired the first 13 batters she faced before pinch-hitter Brooke Webb reached on a clean single to center field.
One out later, Sunetrius Armstrong put SSU on the board with a double to right-center which plated Webb all the way from first.
Rio got the run back — plus one — in the sixth when freshman Cierra Clark (Plain City, OH) led off with a single and moved to third when sophomore Emily Crossen’s (Ashland, OH) single to right was errored.
A passed ball also moved Crossen into scoring position and set the stage for a two-run single by freshman Kali Brickman (Huber Heights, OH).
Campolo went the distance for her 17th win of the year, allowing three hits and the lone run. She also struck out five.
SSU starter Cassie Schaefer took the loss, allowing six hits and three runs over five innings.
Santos finished 3-for-4 in the win, while Brisker and Webb added two hits each.
Rio Grande returns to action on Friday when it opens a weekend series at Carlow University.
First pitch for the opening game of the doubleheader is slated for 3 p.m.
Randy Payton is the Sports Information Director at the University of Rio Grande.