WORCESTER, Mass. – The Holy Cross softball team saw a two run lead disappear in the fourth inning of the first game of the day and Rhode Island took the lead for good in the fifth inning and never looked back, defeating the Crusaders by scores of 8-4 and 13-6 at Freshman Field on Wednesday afternoon. With the two losses, Holy Cross falls to 6-12 on the season, while the Rams improve to 3-23. Holy Cross will return to the diamond on Saturday, April 2 for the start of a four-game Patriot League series with Lafayette. Game time is set for 12:00 p.m.
Senior Tiffany Medwid (Imperial, Pa.) got the Crusaders' offense going when she earned a leadoff walk in the second inning, stole second base, moved to third on sacrifice bunt by freshman Alex Gustafson (Medford, Mass.) and scored on a single to shortstop by freshman Kelliner Croushore (Claremont, Calif.). The Crusaders put their second run across the plate in the third inning when Gustafson doubled to right field to score senior Katie Alexander (Tigard, Ore.) from third base. Senior pitcher Caitlin Belanger (Fall River, Mass.) held Rhode Island hitless for the first three innings, before the Ram's offense started to wake up. Rhode Island tied the game in the fourth inning, scoring two runs on two hits. The Rams took a two run lead in the fifth, scoring two runs on three hits, put a run across in the sixth and scored three in the seventh to go ahead by a score of 8-2. Holy Cross chipped away at the Ram's lead with two runs in the seventh, but it wasn't enough for the win.
Belanger pitched six and two-thirds innings, allowing eight runs on 10 hits and striking out five. Freshman Kali Haas (Longmont, Colo.) pitched the final out of the game for the Crusaders. Rhode Island's Jayshree Narendran pitched seven complete innings, allowing four runs on seven hits and striking out four.
After a scoreless first inning, Rhode Island exploded for seven runs in the second inning. The Rams put together five hits, including a grand slam by Nicole Massoni, to take an early lead. Holy Cross scored in the bottom of the inning, but Rhode Island came right back and put up two more runs in the top of the third. Holy Cross added its second run of the game in the bottom of the third when senior Keeley Seniuk (Phoenix, Ariz.) singled up the middle to score Belanger from second, but the Rams answered back with a pair of runs in the top of the fourth.
The Crusaders continued to chip away, scoring two runs on three hits in the bottom of the inning, but Rhode Island wouldn't back down, adding one more in the top of the fifth. Seniuk led off the fifth with a home run and Gustafson scored on a ground out by junior Nicole Ortiz (Whittier, Calif.) to end the fifth inning 12-6 in favor of the Rams. Rhode Island added the last run of the day in the sixth inning when Fallon Scorpio hit a home run to center field.
Haas started the game on the mound for the Crusaders, pitching two innings and allowing seven runs on five hits. Sophomore Jenna Legros (Sandy Hook, Conn.) pitched the middle one and two-third innings, allowing four runs on four hits, and freshman Julia Barrett (Gardner, Mass.) pitched the final three and one-third innings, allowing two runs on three hits. Sam Bedore pitched the complete game for the Rams, allowing six runs on 12 hits.