Rensselaer rallied to take league title with 6-5 win against Rochester
ROCHESTER, N.Y. –- Tournament Most Valuable Player Charlene Osmanski pitched 5.1 innings of four-hit ball in relief and picked up the win as Rensselaer rallied to defeat the Rochester 6-5 in the Liberty League softball championship at Southside Field on the Rochester campus.
The victory gives RPI its first Liberty League tournament title in the four-year history of the event. The league started a postseason tournament in 2010. RPI won the round robin title in 2006. The Engineers are 26-15. Rochester finished its season at 23-19.
RPI bounced back after losing Game 1 on Sunday 5-4. The Yellowjackets rallied for three runs in the sixth and two in the seventh, capitalizing on some pitching wildness from the Engineers. Rochester had three hits in the first game, but drew 11 walks and had three players hit by pitches.
Rochester jumped ahead 4-1 in the second game. Nina Korn hit a two-run home run off Kristina Weltzin in the bottom of the first. In the second inning, Meghan Hennessy singled home Stephanie Brunet and took second on the throw. Sarah Wayson singled her to third and Korn doubled in Hennessy.
Osmanski relieved at that point and did not surrender a hit until Gena Bradford Tume singled leading off the fifth. By then, the Engineers had taken a 6-5 lead. RPI scored two in the third with Aimee Konet hitting an RBI single and Caitlyn McGivern hitting a sac fly. In the Engineer fifth, Konet doubled and was bunted to third. McGivern doubled. Dani Grage's fly ball was dropped for a two-base error, scoring McGivern with the tying run. Grage took third on Taylor Ten Eyck's single through the right side. Pinch-hitter Morgan Ten Eyck doubled to deep center. Grage scored the go-ahead run. Taylor Ten Eyck was thrown out at home plate.
Rochester tried to rally in the seventh. With one out, Bradford Tume doubled down the right-field line. Tayler Fravel singled up the middle to score the run. Brunet forced Fravel at second. Osmanski walked Lauren Muni, then retired Laurelle Byrne-Cody on an infield pop to end it.
In her 5.1 innings, Osmanski allowed four hits, one earned run, walked three, struck out one, and hit two. Weltzin, who threw 112 pitches in the opener, gave up four hits, four earned runs, and walked two in 1.2 innings.
Brittany Grage started for Rochester in the nightcap. In 3.1 innings, she allowed seven hits, three runs (all earned), walked one, and struck out one. Madeline Skellie took the loss. She pitched one inning, giving up two hits, two runs (one earned). Sarah Wayson pitched the last 2.2 innings. She allowed three hits, one unearned run, and struck out one.
On Sunday's Game 1, Rochester took advantage of 11 walks, seven in the last two innings, to rally for a 5-4 victory. That gave each team one loss (RPI defeated UR, 9-7, on Saturday) and required the second game.
RPI scored four unearned runs in the top of the fourth to seize a 4-0 lead. With two down, McGivern doubled. Dani Grage's popup was dropped and McGivern came around to score. Taylor Ten Eyck singled up the middle and took second on a bad throw. Grage advanced to third. Both runners scored on a single to right by Weltzin and she moved to second when the ball was misplayed out there. Tori Hunt's single scored Weltzin.
On the mound, Weltzin held the Yellowjackets to one hit in the first five innings – a single by Brittany Grage in the first. She walked four and hit one.
In the sixth, Rochester drew within 4-3 and left the bases loaded. Weltzin walked Korn and hit Brittany Grage. Bradford Tume flied out to deep right. Fravel homered over the left field fence. Two more walks and a sac bunt by Byrne-Cody put runners on second and third with two down. Hennessy drew a five-pitch walk to load the bases. Weltzin escaped further damage by retiring Wayson on a grounder.
Victoria Hepworth relieved to start the seventh for RPI. Korn walked, then was forced at second by Grage. Bradford Tume flied out to deep left. Fravel looped a single down the left-field line. Brunet drew a four-pitch walk. Lauren Muni was hit by a pitch, forcing in Grage with the tying run. Byrne-Cody walked on four pitches, scoring Fravel with the winning run.