Moon Township, Pa. - Senior Katrina Gallagher (Canonsburg, Pa. / Canon McMillan) posted two extra-base hits and a career-high five RBI to lead the Robert Morris University softball team to an 8-2 victory over Akron in the nightcap of a non-conference doubleheader Tuesday evening at the North Athletic Complex.
The Colonials were unable to generate much offensively in the opener and dropped a 6-0 decision.
With its victory in Game Two, RMU notched its 16th non-conference victory of the season, marking its highest total since it had 16 during the 1998 season.
Gallagher was 2-for-4 with a double, a triple and a run scored in Game Two. With her five RBI, she became the fifth active Colonial to have notched a five-RBI game and the second this season. Gallagher's first-career triple gave the veteran the 10th multi-hit game of her career. Gallagher also now has multi-RBI efforts against each of RMU's last two opponents as she registered her first-career game with multiple extra-base hits.
Freshman Alexis Schwartzmiller (Carnegie, Pa. / Chartiers Valley) posted her first-collegiate hit, a sharp RBI single to center, in her first plate appearance of the nightcap. She would later post her first-extra base hit and collect another RBI when she doubled to left center.
Freshman Nicole Sleith (Smithton, Pa. / Yough) went the distance in the nightcap to earn the victory as she allowed six hits and one earned run. Sleith struck out seven batters and walked one to move into a tie for eighth in single-season victories (18). In her last 11 starts, Sleith has tallied 86 strikeouts against just 11 walks.
Senior Allie Patton (Poland, Ohio / Poland) went 2-for-3 with a double and two runs scored to notch her 34th career multi-hit game. Patton's two trips across the plate moved her into the top 10 in career runs scored at RMU with 90.
Each side had one baserunner in the first three half-innings of the nightcap before Robert Morris broke through in the bottom of the second.
Junior Maritza Jimenez (Vineland, N.J. / Vineland) started the rally by bouncing a single into left and moved up to second on a wild pitch. Schwartzmiller followed by shooting a run-scoring single into right center before sophomore Chelsea Evans (Beaver Falls, Pa. / Riverside) singled on the next pitch. After a fielder's choice, sophomore Cassie Show (Connellsville, Pa. / Connellsville) walked to load the bases, and Gallagher promptly brought home all three with a double down the left field line.
Akron had one baserunner each in the third and fourth, but Sleith got two strikeouts in the former frame and Evans threw a runner out in the latter to help escape without any damage.
RMU padded its lead in the fourth as Patton started it by launching a one-out double to left center. Show then walked before Gallagher nailed an 0-2 pitch into the right center gap for a two-run triple. Gallagher would come around to score on a wild pitch, and RMU would reload the bases on a single by sophomore Chelsea Siar (Glenshaw, Pa. / Shaler Area) and walks by junior Britta Grafton (Jamestown, Pa. / Jamestown) and Jimenez, but a popup finally ended the frame.
Akron got on the board in the fifth with a solo homer. Patton singled sharply to right in the bottom half but would not advance.
Evans caught another runner trying to steal in the top of the sixth to help prevent a rally, and the Colonials added one more in the home half. Siar and Jimenez both walked before Schwartzmiller doubled to left center to bring home the sophomore.
The Zips got an unearned run in the seventh before Sleith closed it out.
Schwartzmiller also posted her first RBI of her career in the nightcap.
Robert Morris was unable to put together the same type of big innings in the opener.
Redshirt senior Jessica Calderone (Wilmington, Del. / St. Mark's) was the only Colonial to reach base twice as she went 1-for-2 with a double into the right center gap and a walk.
Akron took the lead on a run-scoring groundout in the second and added four runs on five hits in the fifth inning to open up a sizeable lead, which would hold up for the visitors.
Calderone collected the 184th career hit in the nightcap and moved into a tie for eighth in career doubles with 22.
Calderone's double in the opener also helped RMU extend a substantial offensive streak. The Colonials have now drilled at least one extra-base hit in 26 consecutive games, their longest such stretch in over eight years.
RMU turned double plays in back-to-back games for the first time this season in both ends of the twinbill.
Robert Morris will now head out on the road for two key Northeast Conference doubleheaders Friday, April 20, and Saturday, April 21. The Colonials will travel to Sacred Heart Friday with the first pitch scheduled for 3:00 p.m.
RoMo TV users
returning customers, please login here.