Charlotte Grover’s two-run jack sends Robert Morris to Horizon League Semifinals in win over Cleveland State

Since+dropping+their+first+game+to+Green+Bay%2C+the+Colonials+have+put+themselves+in+the+semifinals+after+winning+their+third+straight+game+Friday+afternoon+to+Cleveland+State

Photo by Tyler Gallo

Since dropping their first game to Green Bay, the Colonials have put themselves in the semifinals after winning their third straight game Friday afternoon to Cleveland State

By Ethan Morrison, Assistant Editor

On Friday afternoon, Robert Morris kicked off day three of Horizon League tournament action against Cleveland State in an elimination game.

After a close battle through six innings between the two squads, the Colonials pulled away in the late stages of defeating the Vikings by a final score of 5-2.

Meadow Sacadura has been a key contributor for the Colonials on both sides of the ball throughout the season. She showed up again as she helped punch RMU’s ticket to the semifinals by tallying three RBIs in the winning effort at the plate.

She gave the Colonials a one-run advantage in the top half of the first inning, scoring Alania Koutsogiani on a sacrifice fly into center field with one out in the inning.

But Cleveland State was quick to answer in the bottom half of the inning, tying the game up in the bottom half of the inning thanks to a Becky Hurosky RBI single that scored Jenna Deang.

Both starters in, CSU’s Melissa Holzopfel and RMU’s Rachael Rhinehart, settled in nicely after allowing a run in the first inning as they both pitched two scoreless frames in the second and third inning with minimal traffic on the basepaths in those innings.

That changed in the fourth inning, however, as after Sacadura reached on an error and Bailey Bertani moved Sacadura over on a sacrifice bunt, Charlotte Grover hit her third home run of the year against Holzopfel and the Vikings as it barely sunk inside the left-field foul pole to give the Colonials a two-run advantage.

Cleveland State bounced back after the home run getting out of the inning down by two.

The Vikings split the lead in half in the bottom half of the inning as Sydney Bajusz smacked an RBI single into center field to score Courtney Fernette.

After the single by Bajusz, head coach Jexx Varner marked the end of Rhinehart’s day in the circle after working 3.1 innings allowing just two runs on six hits.

Freshman Madison DeVault came in to try to get out of the inning, and she did just by retiring the next two batters that she faced.

After the teams exchanged scoreless frames and the fifth and sixth inning, the game headed into the seventh inning, Robert Morris was only up by one with Cleveland State still getting an opportunity to bat, so they searched for a critical insurance run to give DeVault run support.

The inning couldn’t have gotten off to a better start for Varner and the Colonials as Koutsogiani legged out an infield single to the second baseman.

After Avery Winchell failed to advance Koutsogiani on a sacrifice bunt Erika Bell punched a single into right field to set up runners at the corners with one out.

Julia Ehrman came in for Bell to pinch run and swiped second base to have two runners in scoring position.

Taylor Rhinehart struck out, which brought up Sacadura with two outs in the inning.

Sacadura came up big in the clutch singling home Koutsogiani and Ehrman for two huge insurance runs heading into the bottom half of the seventh inning.

DeVault came back out for the third inning of work and set down the Vikings to send the Colonials to the Horizon League semifinals.

DeVault picked up her fifth win of the season, going 3.2 innings and only allowing one hit against the 12 batters that came to the plate.

Robert Morris will take on either Northern Kentucky or Oakland at 5:30 p.m. on ESPN+ later today.