How It Happened
Rhode Island (2-3) used a steady offense and a strong pitching performance from Sarah Gunderson to knock off Charlotte, 7-2, on the first day of the First Pitch Classic Friday.
The Rams scored once in the first, twice in the second and three times in the third inning while building the early lead. Erika Yeager drove in Ari Castillo with a two-out single in the top of the first inning. An inning later, Castillo drove in Faith Musselwhite and Rachel Zingerman with a two-out double to the gap in left center.
Charlotte (2-6) kept the game close with single runs in each of the first two innings, but the Rams broke the game open in the top of the third. Back-to-back singles by Yeager and Gunderson followed by Cassie Swenson reaching on an error loaded the bases with one out. Sami Villarreal drew a bases-loaded walk to bring Yeager in, and Zingerman delivered a two-run double to plate Gunderson and Swenson.
Villarreal's sacrifice fly in the top of the fifth added an insurance run as she drove in Swenson to make the score 7-2.
Inside the Box Scores
- All seven of Rhode Island's runs were scored with two outs.
- Senior Sarah Gunderson (2-0) hurled her second straight complete game, giving up two runs on two hits and one walk. She struck out four batters.
- Gunderson added a single and run scored at the plate.
- After missing three games with injury, sophomore Ari Castillo returned with a double, single, two runs batted in and one run scored.
- Senior Erika Yeager had her second multi-hit game of the season, getting two singles, one RBI and one run scored.
- The first three batters in the lineup - Castillo, freshman Rachel Zingerman and sophomore Sami Villarreal - each had two runs batted in.
- Zingerman doubled, walked and scored a run.
- Freshman Cassie Swenson doubled and scored twice.
- Sophomore Faith Musselwhite singled, scored and stole a pair of bases.
Rhode Island will play North Carolina A&T at 12:30 p.m. and Charlotte at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 15.