How it Happened
Rhode Island (6-24, 3-8 Atlantic 10) suffered a pair of hard-fought losses to Massachusetts (17-17, 6-2 A-10) Wednesday, falling 9-5 in nine innings before dropping a 5-3 contest during the conference doubleheader.
Game 1 – Massachusetts 9, Rhode Island 5 (9 innings)
In the opening game, Massachusetts struck first with three runs in the top of the third, but the Rams came back with a pair in the bottom of the frame as Ali Summers and Jenna Cubello each had RBI singles. Both teams scored twice in the fourth inning, putting UMass up 5-4 midway through the contest.
Rhode Island tied the score in the bottom of the sixth when Erika Yeager delivered a two-out single that drove in pinch runner Emily Zembik to make the score 5-5. Both sides went scoreless in the seventh and eighth innings before Massachusetts broke through with four in the top of the ninth inning.
The Rams had several chances to score more runs throughout the game, but were unable to come up with hits in key situations. In four straight innings, Rhody stranded runners in scoring position. In the fifth inning, Rhode Island loaded the bases with no outs, but were unable to get any runs across.
Game 2 – Massachusetts 5, Rhode Island 3
Massachusetts got in front early, scoring three times after the first two batters were retired. The lead was extended to 5-0 in the top of the third, and the Minutewomen appeared on the verge of breaking the game open.
However, strong relief pitching from Andrea Chiaradio and Madi Lewis kept Rhode Island in the game and gave the Rams a chance at the comeback. Charadio and Lewis combined to allow just two runs on six hits over 6.1 innings, slowing the UMass offense until Rhody got on the board.
The Rams finally broke through in the bottom of the fifth when Marylynn Muldowney and Ali Summers began the inning with back-to-back walks and Emily Zembik was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Jenna Cubello singled to left to drive in Muldowney, and pinch runner Brianna Heller scored when Kylie Shivery followed with a single of her own. A base running miscue caused the first out of the inning, and a strikeout and fly out ended the promising rally.
In the bottom of the seventh, Shivery's one-out double drove in Cubello to make the score 5-3. A single by Erika Yeager put the potential tying runs on the corners, but UMass pitcher Candace Denis retired the last two batters to end the game.
Inside the Box Scores
- Senior Jenna Cubello reached base safely six times in nine plate appearances on the day. She singled four times, walked twice, drove in two runs and scored once.
- Senior Ali Summers doubled, singled twice, walked once, drove in three runs and scored once.
- Junior Kylie Shivery and freshman Erika Yeager both singled three times. Shivery drove in two runs, while Yeager had one RBI.
- Senior Marylynn Muldowney walked and scored once in each game.
- Freshman Caileigh Holland doubled twice and walked twice in seven plate appearances.
- Freshman Emily Zembik was hit by a pitch and scored one run in the second game.
- Junior Brianna Heller appeared as a pinch runner and scored in the second game.
- Senior Andrea Chiaradio had a strong relief outing in the second game, pitching 4.1 innings and allowing just two runs on four hits. She also struck out three batters.
- Freshman Madi Lewis pitched 2.0 scoreless innings in the second game, giving up just two hits.
Stat of the Day
7 – Rhode Island batters drew a season-high seven walks during the second game of the doubleheader, and 10 walks on the day. The Rams had drawn 55 walks over the first 28 games (1.9 per game) of the season.
Rhode Island is back at the URI Softball Complex for a three-game series against George Mason this weekend. It starts with a doubleheader Saturday, April 15 at noon.