|Tiger Allee Emmi (#6) makes a double play in the fourth inning against Utica College.
On April 9, two things were beautiful in the world of RIT Softball. One was the weather. The other was the pitching. On a radiantly sunny 60-degree day, the Lady Tigers brought their “A” game with them as they recorded back-to-back shutout victories (4-0 and 2-0) in an Empire 8 conference doubleheader.
Second year Graphic Design major Arielle Link started things off for the Lady Tigers during the first game, smashing a line drive over the left field fence in the bottom of the second inning. A single by third year Diagnostic Medical Imaging major Allee Emmi kept things rolling. This was followed by a double from second year Mechanical Engineering major Emily Courtney, making it possible for Emmi to score on a wild pitch.
The Tigers then made it 3-0 in the fifth inning when third year Chemical Engineering major Shannon McCormick laid down a bunt for a single; stole second; advanced to third on a fly ball hit by second year Mechanical Engineering major Tori Nadow; and scored on a wild pitch. RIT then capped the scoring in the sixth when Nadow singled with the bases loaded.
The pitching was strong during this first game as fourth year Photography major Carlissa Cole hurled a three-hit, seven-strikeout performance. She seemed to keep her cool the entire game, and only allowed one runner past first base.
In game two, second year Physician Assistant major Brittany Kemp threw her first complete no-hitter while recording 13 strikeouts. According to the RIT Athletics site, this is the first no-hit performance since the 2001 season. It is also the fourth no-hitter in the history of the program.
Staying sharp the entire game, Kemp allowed only one base runner — a lead-off walk to Utica’s Kristie Jones at the top of the second inning. However, she was unstoppable from that point on, retiring the last 18 batters she faced. During the seventh inning, she struck out the side to earn her fifth win of the year.
The RIT batters, on the other hand, were not as spectacular, but they also produced results. In game one, RIT pounded out 11 hits — and seven of nine batters had at least one to their name. In the second game, Nadow scored both of RIT’s runs, reaching home on an RBI single by Kemp and tripling then scoring safely on a wild pitch in the fifth.
RIT Head Coach Rebecca Stryker, now in her second season, was impressed with the pitchers’ performances. What was the key to success? “Just throwing strikes when we need [them], staying off the plate otherwise and keeping the pitches out of their zone,” said Stryker.
With the two wins, RIT improved to 11-6 in the season and 3-1 in Empire 8 conference play, while Utica fell to 10-10 overall and 1-3 in Empire 8.
The team’s next home game will be Wednesday, April 20, against D’Youville at 3 p.m.