How It Happened
Rhode Island (15-28, 4-13 Atlantic 10) dropped both ends of a doubleheader against La Salle, falling 9-5 in the opener and 6-3 in extra innings in the nightcap.
Game 1 - La Salle 9, Rhode Island 5
In a back-and-fourth contest, La Salle (12-29, 5-14 A-10) used a four-run sixth inning to score the victory. With Rhode Island leading 5-4, the Explorers got back-to-back doubles from Ashley Mendenhall and Cailey Joyce to start the frame, tying the score. After a walk to Natalie Rios, a sacrifice bunt moved Joyce and Rios into scoring position. Courtney Shupp reached on an infield single that drove in Joyce and put runners on the corners as La Salle moved ahead, 6-5. A walk loaded the bases before Audrey LaBouliere delivered a two-out, two-run single to extend the lead to 8-5. A solo shot from Joyce in the seventh made it a four-run game, and Rhode Island was unable to recover.
Game 2 - La Salle 6, Rhode Island 3
Rhode Island manufactured two runs in the bottom of the second to take the early lead. Hannah DeSousa singled and moved to second on a passed ball. Rebecca Simms reached on an error, moving pinch runner Franki Potocki to third. A stolen base by Simms and a walk to Sarah Gunderson loaded the bases with no outs. A fielder's choice grounder by Erika Yeager forced Potocki out at the plate, but a poor throw to first in attempt to double up Yeager went into right field, allowing Simms to score from second. Gunderson then scored on a passed ball to make it 2-0.
La Salle scored single runs in the third, fourth and sixth innings to move ahead, 3-2. In the bottom of the seventh, Ari Castillo hit a solo shot with one out to set up extra innings.
The Explorers reclaimed the lead when Courtney Shupp lined a three-run homer to right field for a 6-3 lead. Rhody didn't go quietly. Gunderson walked and Yeager singled to start the bottom of the inning. A double play grounder by Faith Musselwhite erased Gunderson and sent Rhode Island to its final out. Alex Pleasic reached on an infield single to bring Castillo to the plate as the potential tying run, but she flied out to the warning track in left center to end the game.
Inside the Box Score
- Between games, seniors Becca Rogers, Rebecca Simms, Adriana Toro and Julia Waraksy will be honored.
- Freshman Faith Musselwhite reached base five times on the day. In the opener, she reached safely in all four plate appearances, getting three hits and a walk. She also scored once and drove in a run. She walked once in the second game.
- Junior Alex Pleasic had three hits. She hit a two-run home run and walked in the first game, then added two singles in the second game.
- Freshman Ari Castillo was 4-for-9 and hit her seventh home run Saturday. She had one hit in the first game, then hit a home run and two singles in the second game.
- Castillo has 52 hits on the season, making her the first Rhode Island player since 2012 to reach the mark. In 2012, Courtney Prendergast had 59 hits and Brittany Julich had 54.
- Senior Rebecca Simms doubled, singled and scored two runs on the day.
- Junior Erika Yeager had a double, single, one RBI and one run scored.
- Senior Adriana Toro singled and scored a run in the first game.
- Sophomore Hannah DeSousa singled twice and walked twice.
- Junior Erica Robles had a double and single.
- As a team, Rhode Island has 31 home runs, which is one shy of the single-season program record. The Rams had 32 long balls in 54 games in 2010.
Rhode Island and La Salle close out the series with a single game Sunday. First pitch has been moved up to 10 a.m. due to poor weather expected to hit the area Sunday afternoon.