Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute edged the St. Lawrence University softball team, 1-0, in a Liberty League Tournament game at the University of Rochester. Kristina Weltzin threw a complete game, three-hit shutout and knocked in the game's only run with a sacrifice fly in the third inning to lead the Engineers to the victory.
RPI, the second seed, improves to 24-14 and advances to the winners' bracket to face the top-seeded Yellowjackets on Saturday at 12:30pm. The Saints, the third seed, face fourth-seeded Union College, which lost to Rochester, 7-2, on Saturday at 10am.
Weltzin and St. Lawrence's Kyle Plimpton, a pair of righthanded sophomores who were both named to the All-Liberty League First Team on Thursday, were the catalysts for their teams. Weltzin allowed just three hits with eight strikeouts and two walks in improving to 17-8. Plimpton, the league's Pitcher of the Year, also allowed just three hits with six strikeouts and no walks in falling to 10-9.
The lone run of the game was manufactured by the Engineers. Rochester area native Dani Grage opened the third inning with a double to leftfield. She was sacrificed to third base on a bunt by Taylor Ten Eyck. Weltzin drove the first pitch she saw deep enough into leftfield for a sacrifice fly. The Engineers did not get another runner into scoring position.
The game was scoreless heading into RPI's half of the third due to Weltzin working out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the top of the inning. Rebecca Allen singled and Caroline Kieltyka drew a one-out walk. Leslie Statton grounded to Aimee Konet at second base. Konet tried to tag Kieltyka but missed and the throw to first was too late to get Stratton. Weltzin struck out the next two batters to get out of the inning.
Bolstered by a 1-0 lead, Weltzin allowed only three baserunners over the last four innings. Elizabeth McGinley singled with one down in the fourth. Aisha O'Connor reached on a wild pitch after striking out with two down in the sixth. In the seventh, Lauren Weisbarth walked on a full count with two down but Weltzin forced a pop up to get the last out of the game.