How it Happened
Shaky defense and wild pitching did Rhode Island in as the Rams fell 10-2 to Norfolk State at the Liberty Softball Classic Friday afternoon.
Despite having just five hits, Norfolk State (3-7) benefitted from nine walks, one hit batter and four wild pitches by the Rhode Island (6-8) pitchers. The Rams also committed four errors. Of the 10 runs scored by the Spartans, eight were the result of batters reaching via either walk or error. Only three of the Norfolk State runs were earned.
Norfolk State struck quickly in the top of the first inning, getting a pair of two-out runs. With a runner on first base, Whitney Williams reached on an error that extended the inning. Following a wild pitch, the Spartans had two runners in scoring position. A second wild pitch allowed the first run of the game to come in, and Williams made it 2-0 when she scored on a single by Mikki Haury.
In the bottom of the first, Ali Summers doubled and Paige Julich singled to put runners on the corners. With one out, Kylie Shivery drove in Summers with a fielder's choice grounder, cutting the deficit in half.
In the top of the second, Norfolk State loaded the bases with two singles sandwiched around a walk. A wild pitch brought in one run, and a sacrifice fly added another, making the score 4-1.
The Spartans appeared on the verge of breaking the game open when they had two runners in scoring position with one out in the top of the third. However, Shivery snared a line drive and stepped on the bag at third to turn an unassisted double play and get Rhode Island out of the jam.
With one out in the bottom of the third inning, Julich hit her second home run of the season to close the gap to 4-2 for the Rams. However, Norfolk State responded with two more in the top of the fourth as three walks, one single and an error led to a pair of runs with two outs, pushing the lead back to 6-2. The Spartans added four more in the fifth inning – three of which came on a three-run shot by Williams – to put the eight-run rule in play.
Inside the Box Score:
- Paige Julich hit her second home run of the season and also had one single. She extended her hitting streak to 12 games.
- Ali Summers doubled and singled.
- Marylynn Muldowney hit a triple in the second inning. It was the team's eighth triple of the season, and Muldowney is already the seventh different Ram to have at least one.
- Muldowney later added a single to get her second multi-hit game of the season.
- After making just three errors combined in its previous five games, Rhode Island had four errors Friday afternoon.
Stat of the Day
9 – Through 14 games, Rhode Island's defense has turned nine double plays – including two against Norfolk State.
Rhode Island has one more game on Friday. It takes host Liberty tonight at 7 p.m. on ESPN3.com.