Rhode Island Drops Opener to Incarnate Word, 3-2

Rhode Island Drops Opener to Incarnate Word, 3-2

How it Happened
Rhode Island had the potential tying run in scoring position, but the Rams came up short in their season opener, falling 3-2 to Incarnate Word at the Houston Classic Friday evening.

Incarnate Word (3-4) broke through in the bottom of the third. Ramirez led off with her second infield single of the game, and moved around to third on back-to-back sacrifice bunts. Mikaela Flores drove Ramirez in with a single up the middle.

Rhode Island responded in the top of the fourth when Melanie Martire drilled a one-out shot to centerfield for her first home run as a Ram.

Incarnate Word came right back in the bottom of the fourth, capitalizing on a defensive miscue to reclaim the lead. Bratcher led off with a single and moved to third when a Rhody error on a sacrifice bunt by Monica Flores put runners on the corners with no outs. Pinch hitter Alex Alonso singled to right to drive in Bratcher. Ramirez extended the lead to 3-1 with her third hit of the game to drive in Flores.

Rhode Island cut the lead to one run in the top of the sixth with a leadoff home run by Ali Summers.

The Rams got the potential tying run into scoring position with one out in the top of the seventh. Pinch hitter Caileigh Holland singled to lead off the frame and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt from Erika Yeager. The threat ended there as Incarnate Word pitcher Sarah Leal struck out the final two batters to end the game.

Inside the Box Score

  • Sophomore Melanie Martire hit a solo home run in her Rhode Island debut. She had one home run last season while playing at Saint Francis.
  • The solo home run for senior Ali Summers hit her fifth career home to lead off the top of the sixth inning.  
  • Freshman Erika Yeager had Rhody's first hit of the season with a single in the top of the second.
  • Yeager and fellow freshman Emily Zembik each started in their collegiate debut for Rhode Island. Yeager was the designated player, while Zembik started at shortstop.
  • Freshman Caileigh Holland also made her collegiate debut, delivering a pinch-hit single in the top of the seventh.
  • Junior Paige Julich drew a walk in the top of the fourth, extending her streak of reaching base safely to a team-high nine games, dating back to last season.
  • Rhody starter Becca Rogers lasted 3.1 innings, allowing three runs – two earned – on six hits.
  • Freshman Sarah Gunderson pitched 2.2 innings of scoreless relief in her collegiate debut for the Rams. Gunderson allowed just two hits and one walk.

Stat of the Game
3-for-10 -
Incarnate Word was 3-for-10 with runners in scoring position. Rhode Island was 0-for-2 with runners in scoring position, and both at bats came in the top of the seventh.

What's Next
Time and weather permitting, Rhode Island plays host Houston later tonight at the Houston Classic, following the completion of the Ole Miss-Oklahoma contest.