Softball picks up steam with a pair of non-conference doubleheader wins

First-year Kylie Bulinski recorded her first career three-hit game on Monday, going 3-for-4 at the plate with three RBI’s and one run. PHOTO CREDIT:

The University of Rhode Island softball team won their double header against the University of Maine Monday afternoon, followed by one more win and one loss against Stonehill in their second double header during Wednesday night’s games at the URI Softball Complex.  

After the Rams had won their previous two games on Saturday against Fordham, second-year infielder Emily Power pointed out that with those two most recent wins, the team felt confident going into Monday’s game and wanted to continue that winning streak.   

The Rams stepped onto the field at 1 p.m. for game one on Monday, knocking their opponents out of the park. First-year outfielder Hannah Hernandez was the first to make it to first base, followed by grad student, infielder and catcher Elena Gonzalez who hit a double towards the right of center field. This play then allowed Hernandez to move to third base. Shortly after, fourth-year utility player Rachel Zingerman scored the first run of the game. Gonzalez and Hernandez were the next two to score during the bottom of the first inning. Second-year outfielder Leilyn Alvarez advanced to second base and fourth-year outfielder Skyler Rapuano advanced to third later in the bottom of the first. Both players made it to home plate to score two more points for the Rams to take a 5-0 lead at the end of the first inning. 

Power hyped up the outstanding performances the pitchers on the team have been showing throughout their games. Fourth year pitcher Liz Lynchard matched the same energy as the offensive team as she struck out 10 of the University of Maine’s batters. Lynchard held a lot of the weight of the team as she consistently blocked Rhody’s opponents from even getting a chance for at least one of their batters to get a walk within the first five innings. The fifth inning of the game was the first and only time the University of Maine scored for the entire day. 

In the bottom of the fifth, after Zingerman singled towards left field she made her way to first base. After the University of Maine lost control of the ball, that gave Zingerman time to advance where she ended up on second base. 

While Zingerman captured second base, Hernandez successfully made it to home plate scoring the sixth point of the game for Rhody. Zingerman and Rapuano scored the last two points of the game in the bottom of the fifth from throwing errors made by the opposing team. 

Power discussed the energy level on both the offensive and defensive sides of the team during Monday’s games. 

“We focus so much on what we do well,” Power said, “The energy was electric in the dugout and that came out onto the field.”  

Back in the swing of things for the second game of the day, Hernandez took every chance to steal a base that eventually led to her scoring the first point in the bottom of the first inning. After first-year catcher Kylie Bulinski singled to left field, that gave Zingerman the opportunity to run the homestretch where she obtained the second point of the game for Rhody.  

In the bottom of the fourth inning, fourth-year outfielder Jessica Hennelly made her way through the bases. Once fifth-year catcher Susan Harrison singled up the middle, leading Power to move to second and first year infielder Becca Zawistoski advancing to third, Hennelly made her way to score the third point of the game. Power made her way through the bases again in the bottom of the fourth and eventually scored the fourth point for the Rams due to a throwing error made by the University of Maine. As the game progressed, Zingerman, fourth-year infielder Cassie Swenson, Bulinski and first-year infielder Casey Miller all scored the last four points in the bottom of the sixth inning from throwing errors made by their opponents, thus closing out the second game with a 8-0 win score for Rhody. The game would finish in six innings due to the mercy rule.

On Wednesday at 3 p.m. the Rams faced off against Stonehill during their second double header of the week. Stonehill recently moved up to division one and Wednesday’s game was the first time in the program’s history that the University of Rhode Island has played against them. 

In keeping with the same tone as Monday’s games, Power emphasized that the team as a whole goes into each game ready to give it their all. Kicking off the first of the two games, neither Rhody or Stonehill made it to the scoreboard in the first three innings. 

In the bottom of the fourth, Zingerman hit a triple to the right of center field. Rapuano shortly after advanced to second while Zingerman got out in an attempt to make it to home plate. With Rapuano inching her way closer to home plate, Zawaistowski hit a double towards right center field giving Rapuano the chance to advance to home plate where she successfully scored a run for the Rams. 

During the top of the fifth, Stonehill made their way to the scoreboard with one run for their team, leaving both teams with a point heading into the sixth inning. Stonehill’s Isbaella Therrien hit a single allowing Natalie Bottiglieri, who was on third base, to advance to home plate and score for Stonehill in the top of the sixth. This play led to Stonehill taking a 2-1 lead in the game. Later, Zingerman took first base in the bottom of the sixth and shortly after stole second. After Rapuano got out at first base, that gave time for Zingerman to advance to third. When Hennelly came up to bat, she singled to right field putting Zingerman in play to run towards home plate scoring a second point for Rhody, leaving the score tied up at 2-2 in the end of the sixth inning. 

As the first game came to a close, neither team scored in the seventh inning. However, Stonehill took the lead scoring a run in the top of the eighth inning. When Rhody came up to bat, both Rapuano and Gonzalez scored, putting Rhody ahead of Stonehill and ending the game with a 4-3 game score.   

Power included insight as to how the team wants to finish the rest of the season. 

“There is a lot of unfinished business,” Power said. “We want to get a lot done this year and we have to keep going with the energy.” 

Both teams stepped onto the field again at 5 p.m. to start their second game of the night. Stonehill’s Alys Grossi scored in the top of the second inning and was the only player to score throughout the entire second game. In the bottom of the second inning, Rapuano advanced to third base, but Power struck out shortly after that. Hennelly advanced to third in the bottom of the fifth followed by Hernandez also making it to third in the bottom of the sixth. Although the Rams came close to scoring, no one made it to home plate during the second game.

Next up for URI, they will return home for a three-game series against A-10 opponent Dayton, with first pitch in game one set for 12 p.m. on Saturday.