The University of Rhode Island softball team moved to 3-5 this season, following their performance at the Hampton Lady Pirates Classic in Hampton, Virginia, this past weekend. The team defeated Quinnipiac University 4-3 and Hampton University 9-3, while losing to the University at Buffalo 13-5.
URI had already tied the program’s win total of last season (3-41) in the first game of the weekend series. They held a 4-0 lead going into the bottom of the sixth inning. The Rams scored their first two runs of the afternoon in the top of the third, when junior Danielle Gariglio hit a two-out single and was later driven in by a Jenna Cubello triple. Cubello also crossed home plate, following a Paige Julich single. In the top of the fifth, Rhode Island’s Ali Summers hit an RBI double to put the Rams up 3-0, and scored what would be the deciding run when Kylie Shivery hit an RBI single to make the score 4-0.
Freshman pitcher Becca Rogers earned a career-high six strikeouts in 5.2 innings pitched, but did give up three earned runs on a three-run home run to Quinnipiac’s Erin Larsen in the bottom of the sixth. Senior captain and pitcher Caitlin Kennedy came in for 1.1 innings of relief to conserve the win for Rogers and the Rams.
Rhode Island’s second game of the weekend against Hampton University was over early on, as URI scored nine runs in the top of the second inning. Notably, Sophomore Madi Housel hit a two-run home run and Paige Julich followed up with a grand slam to build an insurmountable lead.
“Our offense has been getting increasingly more consistent, and all the hard work our ladies are doing in practice is paying off in wins,” head coach Bridget Hurlman said.
The Pirates got on the board twice in the bottom of the third inning and once in the fifth, but were unable to make significant headway. Caitlin Kennedy received her first win on the season after a relief outing of 1.2 innings, striking out two and allowing two unearned runs.
Rhode Island fell behind early in their third and final game of the weekend tournament when Buffalo accumulated a three-run lead after Rogers, who only lasted a third of an inning, was taken deep in the top of the first inning. The Rams scored at least one run each inning until the fifth, which cut the lead to 13-5 for the remainder of the game.
Rhode Island was supposed to play a fourth and final game last Saturday against Hampton University, but the lights on the field were not working so the game was cancelled.
“We had good pitching this weekend, we didn’t make too many mistakes and were able to get runs on the board for the most part,” Hurlman said. “We will continue to grow, but we are excited with where we are at and look to improve each week.”
Rhode Island will play their next set of games this weekend at the UMBC Retriever Classic in Baltimore, Maryland. In the tournament, the Rams will face the University of Maryland Baltimore County and Coppin State University two times each.