Conkey named RSC Pitcher of Week

Pica also standing out early on

Staff Report

MIDDLETOWN, Ohio – University of Rio Grande softball standouts Kelsey Conkey and Mallory Powell have been named the River States Conference Pitcher of the Week and Player of the Week, respectively, for the week of March 5-11.

League officials made the announcement Monday night.

Conkey, a redshirt junior from Minford, Ohio, pitched 15.0 innings across three games and came out of it with a 0.00 ERA on the week. The highlight was a no-hitter versus No. 13 Ottawa (Kan.) in a 2-0 victory. She struck out seven, walked one and gave up no runs and no hits in 7.0 innings.

An earlier start on the week had a complete-game victory over Calumet (Ind.), which included six hits, nine strikeouts and one walk. The only run she gave up was unearned. She began the week with a one-inning save in a 7-4 victory over Bryan (Tenn.).

Powell, a first baseman/pitcher from Flatwoods, Ky., was 12-for-25 in seven games. She pounded out four doubles, a triple, a home run and drove in 10 runs as the RedStorm went 5-2.

Powell also slugged .840 and had a pair of four-hit games. She capped off her week going 4-for-4 with two doubles, a homer and five RBIs in a 12-2 win over No. 14 Reinhardt (Ga.). She was also 4-for-4 with a double, triple and three RBIs in an 11-1 victory over Bryan (Tenn.).

Powell was 2-for-3 with a run in a 2-0 win over No. 13 Ottawa (Kan.).

Powell also went 2-1 on the week as a pitcher.

From an entire offensive standpoint over the weekend, freshman Mary Pica singled with one out in the second and took second on a two-out hit by freshman Aubrey Azbil, but Clarke pitcher Cheelsea Fogarty fanned freshman Kayla Slutz to end the inning.

Sophomore Brooke Hoffman doubled with one out in the sixth, but Fogarty retired Conkey (Minford, OH) on a flyball to left and struck out senior Mallory Powell to end the inning as Rio Grande fell to Clarke (Ia.), 1-0, in its first contest of the weekend.

The only run of the day’s opening game came in the top of the first inning when Clarke – which was among the teams receiving votes in the coaches’ poll – got a leadoff walk by Kylee Biedermann and a one-out, run-scoring double by Sydney Tigges.

Pica finished with two hits for Rio, while Tigges had two of Clarke’s four hits.

Against Ottawa (Kan.) and Reinhardt (Ga.), however, the RedStorm blitzed both squads behind crisp showings. In addition to Conkey’s first no-hitter of her collegiate career, Rio got what proved to be the only run it would need in the second inning after Kayla Slutz provided an RBI groundout with the bases loaded. The game’s additional run came in the fifth when Criner reached on a one-out single and scored on a two-out double by Conkey.

Powell and junior Carly Skeese (Newark, OH) both had two hits in the winning effort.

The final contest of the day against Reinhardt saw the RedStorm record their second-highest run total of the season, in addition to a season-high 18 hits.

Powell went 4-for-4 with two doubles, her first collegiate home run and five RBI, while Michaela Criner finished 4-for-5 with a triple and two runs batted in. Brooke Hoffman added three hits in the winning effort, while Azbill and Slutz both had two hits and a run batted in and Conkey cranked a three-run home run.

Rio led just 3-2 after three innings, but scored four times in the fourth inning, twice in the sixth and three times in the seventh inning to win going away.

Powell also got the win in the pitcher’s circle, allowing six hits and just one earned run in a complete game effort.

Brianna Collender went 2-for-3 with a run batted in for the Eagles, while Alise Hooks also drove in one run.

Pica also standing out early on

Staff Report