CANTON -- The University of Rochester strung together three bunts, the last one a squeeze play, to score the winning run in the bottom of the eighth inning for a 3-2 win over St. Lawrence University Saturday in the Liberty League softball championships at Southside Field.
Laurelle Byrne-Cody beat out a bunt to lead off the eighth for UR (22-18).
Meghan Hennessy bunted down the third base line to advance her. When the throw sailed down the right field line, Byrne-Cody reached third and Hennessy took second.
Sarah Wayson bunted in front of the plate and Byrne-Cody managed to slide home with the winning run, just beating the throw. Rochester's win puts the Yellowjackets into the championship round of the Liberty League tournament.
The Yellowjackets will play second-seeded RPI (25-14) at 10 am Sunday. RPI defeated Rochester, 9-7, earlier on Saturday to force the showdown with St. Lawrence.
The Saints finished their season at 22-17. SLU defeated Union College, 1-0, in eight innings in Saturday's first game. Wayson earned the victory as the third Rochester pitcher against SLU.
Brittany Grage pitched the first five innings, allowing seven hits, two runs (one earned), and striking out five.
Madeline Skellie relieved in the sixth. Kyle Plimpton pitched the full 7.1 innings for St. Lawrence.
The Williamsville, NY native allowed six hits, three runs (two earned), walked one and struck out nine.
This came after posting a one-hit, 15-strikeout performance against Union in the 10 am elimination game on Saturday that also took eight innings. SLU took a 1-0 lead in the fourth.
Rebecca Allen singled, was bunted to second, advanced to third on a groundout and scored on Caroline Kieltyka's single down the right field line.
In the Rochester fourth, Korn and Grage hit back to back doubles with two outs to tie the score at 1-1.
When the unearned run put the Saints ahead in the sixth, Korn homered to right center, her 12th home run of the season.
In the St. Lawrence seventh, Aisha O'Connor singled and moved to second on a bunt. With two down, she reached third on a passed ball but Skellie forced a groundout to end the inning.
Tayler Fravel doubled with one out in the UR seventh. She was bunted to third. Pinch-hitter Carly Carn-Saferstein hit a low liner to Weisbarth at third who grabbed it to end the inning.
Following several brush fires in St. Lawrence County on Saturday, fire officials are warning residents that the risk of outdoor fires remains very high due to dry conditions.
A state-wide outdoor burn ban also remains in effect until It is also illegal to burn any items outdoors until May 15 throughout the state, Lacks noted.
Saturday, several stubborn brush fires kept fire departments throughout the county very busy, said Joe Lacks, investigator and public fire and life safety officer with the county Bureau of Fire.
“Even though the grass and trees are starting to green, most of the land and underbrush is easily ignited,” he said in a prepared statement. “Many of these fires are started by illegal burning and are subject to heavy fines by law enforcement and the NYS DEC,” he said.
He said several residents in the county have been ticketed for illegal burning.
With the current dry conditions, “homes and other structures are very easily ignited by grass and brush fires,” he said. Fires can also be caused by discarded smoking materials, he added.
“Please use common sense during this time of dry land and forest conditions,” he said.
It is possible the burn ban will be extended if the dry weather continues, Lacks said. He urged area residents to check for burn ban information on local media sites.