Offense sputters as Robert Morris falls to cross-town adversary Pitt


Anna Resnik scores on Taylor Rhinehart’s double in the first inning at Pitt. Photo credit: Tyler Gallo

Kevin Plowcha

PITTSBURGHRobert Morris (16-10, 5-0 Horizon) took on Pitt (12-14, 1-7 ACC) Wednesday night at Vartabedian Field. The game was originally scheduled to take place at RMU’s North Athletic Complex but was moved due to weather conditions earlier in the week.

The Colonials were first up to bat and took advantage. An RBI double by Taylor Rhinehart got RMU on the board.

Charlotte Grover followed up with an RBI single, extending the RMU lead to 2-0. RMU would strand two but take that two-run lead into the bottom of the first inning.

Head coach Jexx Varner talked about the team’s quick start.

“It was a great start,” Varner said. “The top four of our lineup have been deadly, and they can do a lot for us. It was also good for us to come out and make a statement.”

Pitt would threaten to cut into the RMU lead in the bottom of the first, putting runners at the corners with two outs, but Jane Garver struck out the next Pitt batter limiting the damage to zero.

A quick top of the second inning saw the Colonials go down in order.

Pitt would get on the board in the bottom of the 2nd thanks to an RBI double, but Jane Garver got the next three Panthers out, to keep them from tying the game. RMU took a one-run lead into the top of the third inning.

A double by Erika Bell put a runner in scoring position for RMU to start the top of the 3rd inning, but they were not able to capitalize.

A great diving catch by Alaina York highlighted the bottom half of the 3rd inning. This robbed Pitt infielder Sarah Seamans of a hit and led to another scoreless inning from the Panthers.

Pitt would take their first lead of the game in the bottom of the fourth inning thanks to a two-out, 2-RBI single by OF Bailey Drapola.

Immediately following that, a double by Pitt infielder Yvonne Whaley put another runner in scoring position for the Panthers. This would end Jane Garver’s day after three and two-thirds innings pitched.

This inning was full of doubles for Pitt, as another two-out double gave the Panthers a 4-2 lead after four innings played.

The Colonials threatened to cut into the deficit in the top of the fifth inning, putting runners on 2nd and 3rd with just one out, but couldn’t capitalize, leaving both runners on base.

In the bottom of the fifth, Pitt added to their lead. An RBI single by Amanda Ramirez and an RBI double by Kylie Griggs gave Pitt a 6-2 advantage.

The Panthers would add one more run in the bottom of the fifth, extending their lead further, giving them a 7-2 lead. Pitt did leave the bases loaded, though.

After a leadoff single by Faith Miller, RMU’s offense couldn’t get anything going in the top half of the sixth.

A scoreless inning pitched by Dana Vatakis in the bottom of the sixth kept Pitt’s lead at 7-2 heading into the top of the seventh, RMU’s last chance to make a comeback.

A double by Erika Bell put a runner in scoring position for RMU, but that was all they could manage in the top of the seventh inning.

RMU fell to Pitt 7-2 and dropped to 16-10 overall on the season.

Jexx Varner talked about the heart his team showed despite the loss.

“That was one of the things we talked about,” Varner said. “We earned a lot of respect. They had to start their number one pitcher because they knew we were that good.”

The Colonials return home this Friday for a three-game series against Cleveland State.

Varner expressed his excitement about returning home.

“As long we can play at home, I’m more than excited to play at home,” Varner said. “We love to have people at campus being able to watch games. Having that back and playing at home, there’s nothing like it.”

Friday’s aforementioned matchup against Cleveland State is set to begin at 3:00 p.m. at the North Athletic Complex.