Robert Morris Shutout By Crosstown Foe Pitt


Robert Morris falls to 12-15 on the season after the 6-0 loss to Pitt Tuesday Photo credit: Cam Wickline

Nathan Breisinger

MOON TOWNSHIP — On a gorgeous Tuesday afternoon, Robert Morris welcomed in crosstown foe Pitt for a midweek non-conference tilt at the North Athletic Complex.

The Colonials (12-15, 2-2 Horizon) were looking to add to their two-game winning streak as they gear up for the thick of Horizon League play. However, the Panthers (17-15, 2-7 ACC) had their way for most of the day, taking care of the Colonials, 6-0.

Hitting for the Colonials was a struggle all day long as they were held hitless after the second inning. Even when RMU did get runners on base, the Colonials failed to bring those around.

“We just didn’t execute,” head coach Jexx Varner said. “I don’t care if it’s ACC or Horizon League or whoever it is, we didn’t execute. We left five runners on base in the first three innings.”

Pitt wasted no time getting on the board with a little help from some seeing-eye singles. Cami Compson hit one back to the Colonials’ starting pitcher Dana Vatakis, but it deflected off of her glove and rolled into left field as Sarah Seamans came around to score from second.

“All six runs were something we can control, whether it was balls that came off of our gloves, not executing at first and third and passed balls,” Varner said.

On the next at-bat, Kat Rodriguez smacked one to third base where it ricocheted off of Alaina Koutsogiani’s glove and rolled slowly into down the line in left field. Compson would score for the Panthers to give them an early 2-0 lead.

Madison DeVault pitched two innings in the 6-0 loss to Pitt Photo credit: Cam Wickline

After the Panthers built a two-run lead, Vatakis started to settle in and buckled down against the Panthers, including a one, two, three third inning.

The Colonials’ ace then once again was faced with some tough luck in the top of the fourth. With runners on first and third, Pitt gave Kylie Griggs the sign to steal second to put two runners in scoring position. As catcher Meadow Sacadura attempted to throw out Griggs, the ball sailed into center field for an easy run as Rodriguez trotted in.

“We were supposed to get an out somewhere,” Varner said. “[Griggs] had the base stolen and we didn’t communicate. Also, the throw was off line, and we talk about that being a ball that needs to be cut off. If you aren’t going to get her out, then we need to get an out in one way, shape or form and it ends up going through and costs us a run.”

Yvonne Whaley continued to put the hurt on the Colonials as she knocked one into right field for a double that brought home Griggs and Hernandez to blow open the game for Pitt.

Who is usually a key factor in the pitching circle for the Colonials, Vatakis struggled in two innings, which led to the five-run lead for the Panthers. On top of that, Vatakis failed to record a strikeout – a category that she leads Robert Morris in.

“From Dana’s perspective, I think she wasn’t getting ahead early in the count,” Varner said. Dana [Vatakis] was just not as sharp as she usually is and that created better counts for them to hit in.”

Pitt relied on a plethora of pitchers with Abby Edwards recording the win as she went 1.2 innings with two strikeouts on no hits. As a collective, the Panthers only allowed two hits and recorded three strikeouts.

“They changed up their pitchers and changed up some of the looks that we could have,” Varner said. “I think we started pressing at a certain point after we had our chances and then we were trying to do too much.”

RMU will now dive into the heart of Horizon League competition as the Colonials take on Northern Kentucky for a two-game series at the North Athletic Complex this coming weekend on Friday and Saturday.