March 28, 2007
PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Rhode Island senior Alyssa Martino's walk-off three-run homerun in the bottom of the ninth inning propelled the Rams to a 9-7 victory over Hartford in the first game of a softball doubleheader played at the Dayna A. Bazar Softball Complex at Rhode Island College. The Rams also won the second nightcap, 4-0, in a game shortened to five innings due to darkness.
The first game was tied, 1-1, after seven innings, before Hartford plated five runs in the top of the eighth inning to lead 6-1. Rhody answered with five of its own in the bottom half of the inning to tie the score, 6-6. The Hawks put another run on the board in the top of the ninth, before Martino's heroics sealed the win for Rhody.
Rhode Island (5-13) scored all four of its runs in the first inning, including three on a double by Leah DiBussolo. Martino also plated the Rams' other run with an RBI single, finishing the two-game set with five RBI on only two hits.
Hartford's Nikki Thompson led off the top of the sixth with a single to right field. Two batters later, the Hawks loaded the based as Rhody starter Jill Anderson issued consecutive walks to Jackie Simonetty and Rachel Clonick. After MaryBeth Ball came into relieve Anderson, pinch hitter Alex Morley plated pinch runner Kayla Demarest with a sacrifice fly to right to put the Hawks up, 1-0.
The Rams bounced right back in the bottom half of the inning. Stefani Poedubicky led off with a single to left and advanced to second on a wild pitch, before reaching third on a ground-out by Shelly Petersen. Martino's sacrifice fly to right knotted the game, 1-1.
Clonick led off the eighth inning with an RBI double off the centerfield wall, plating Simonetty, who started the inning on second base. Olivia Piacentini reached on a bunt single, advancing Clonick to third, before a double by Amanda Dilworth to centerfield scored Clonick to make it a 3-1 game. Piacentini was called out on an appeal for not touching second base. Dilworth advanced to third on a wild pitch, before Kristen Cericola walked to load the bases. A single to left by Amanda Sais scored Dillworth to make it 4-1. After URI's MaryBeth Ball came in to pitch in relief, Kristie Rochette doubled to centerfield to score Cericola, but a Sais was thrown out at home to keep the score 5-1. Nikki Thompson reached on a fielding error by the URI shortstop, allowing Rochette to score unearned for the 6-1 lead.
In the Rhode Island half of the inning, Courtney Powers, who started the inning on second, advanced to third on a wild pitch before scoring on a single to right by Poedubicky to make it 6-2. Following a single by Petersen that moved Poedubicky to second, Martino reached on a fielder's choice as Poedubicky was forced out at third. Melissa Wilson plated to runs with a double off the right field wall to make the score 6-4. Gentile followed with an infield single, to advance Wilson to third. Wilson would score on a dropped fly ball by the Hartford leftfielder hit by Quimby to make it 6-5. A single by Tara Hiteman scored Gentile from second to tie the game, 6-6.
In the ninth inning, Hartford's Clonick knocked the first pitch she saw down the right field line to score Ann Kyzer, who starting the inning on second, to take a 7-6 lead, but the Hawks would strand two baserunners to end the inning.
DiBussolo would start the inning on second, before Kampmeier reached on a bunt single to set up Martino's base-clearing and game-winning homerun to right center.
The Rams scored all four of their runs in the bottom of the first inning to hold on for the sweep. Poedubicky led off with a triple down the right field line, before scoring on a RBI single up the middle by Martino. Peterson, who has reached on an error by the Hartford pitcher, advanced to second. After loading the bases, the Rams scored three more runs on DiBussolo's double to right field to make it 4-0.
Katie Halcomb picked up the victory for Rhode Island, striking out five while allowing only three hits in five innings of work.