Rhode Island Blanks Howard, 8-0, to Win Season Opener

Photo Credit: Mike Scott
Photo Credit: Mike Scott

Rhode Island Lineup
Villarreal (CF), Toro (DP), Harrison (C), Robles (3B), Castillo (SS), Musselwhite (LF), Yeager (1B), Simms (RF), Potocki (2B), Rogers (P)

Howard Lineup
Hall (CF), Jones (RF), Gibbs (LF), Dennis (1B), Navarro (C), Baiyina (DP), Soper (3B), Wilcox (SS), Tillman (2B), Steele (P)

How It Happened

Junior Becca Rogers hurled a shutout as Rhode Island won its season opener for the first time since 2012 with an 8-0, six-inning victory over Howard (1-5) at the Fairfield Inn & Suites Seahawk Softball Bash Friday morning.

Rhode Island (1-0) got on the board first with four runs in the bottom of the fourth inning. Adriana Toro and Susan Harrison started the rally with back-to-back singles. Erica Robles followed with a single of her own, and a miscue in the outfield allowed Toro and Harrison to score the first runs of the game. Three batters later, Erika Yeager pulled a double down the left field line, driving in Robles and Ari Castillo, who had walked.

The Rams broke the game open in the fifth inning. Sami Villarreal led off with a double, stole third base and came in on a passed ball to make the score 5-0. Toro – who reached via a walk – came around on a single by Castillo. Castillo scored when Faith Musselwhite tripled down the right field line, putting Rhode Island up, 7-0.

Rhody ended the game in the bottom of the sixth. Senior Rebecca Simms walked and made her way around the bases on three wild pitches to put the Rams up 8-0 and invoke the eight-run rule.
 
Inside the Box Score

  • Senior Becca Rogers (1-0) earned the victory with her second career complete-game shutout. She allowed just two hits and one walk while striking out six batter.
  • Dating back to last season, Rogers has a scoreless streak of 11.1 innings.
  • Senior Adriana Toro singled in the bottom of the fourth for Rhode Island's first hit of the season. She also walked, stole a base and scored twice.
  • Freshman Ari Castillo singled, walked, scored two runs and had one run batted in.
  • Freshman Susan Harrison singled, walked and scored one run.
  • Junior Erika Yeager doubled and had two RBI.
  • Freshman Faith Musselwhite tripled and drove in one run.
  • Freshman Sami Villarreal doubled and scored once, while junior Erica Robles singled and scored a run.
  • Senior Rebecca Simms walked and scored once.
  • Rhode Island had three stolen bases, as Villarreal, Toro and freshman Franki Potocki each swiped a base.
  • Eight of Rhode Island's nine starters in the batting order reached safely.
  • The Rams drew five walks and struck out just two times.
  • Rhode Island did not commit an error.
  • URI started five freshmen. Centerfielder Sami Villarreal, catcher Susan Harrison, shortstop Ari Castillo, left fielder Faith Musselwhite and shortstop Franki Potocki all started in their collegiate debut.
  • Since 2000, Rhode Island had been 1-18 in season openers before today. 

What's Next
Rhode Island is back in action tonight when it plays Radford at 5:30 p.m.