Warwick, R.I. – March 22, 2016: The CCRI Lady Knights softball team began play in THE Spring Games at the National Training Center in Clermont, FL. CCRI will play six games in total on the spring training trip. In their first day, they faced the Mustangs of Mount Mercy University Junior Varsity from Cedar Rapids, Iowa and the Colonials of Western Connecticut JV from Danbury, CT. The Lady Knights won the first game vs Mount Mercy 5-3 but fell to Western CT 8-0. With the split, CCRI now has a 1-3 record overall.
Getting the start in the circle for the Lady Knights was freshman Courtney Sheridan (Warwick, RI) on an unseasonably chilly day in the sunshine state. Sheridan was on her game pitching very well over six strong innings allowing just six hits with two walks with three runs, none of them earned, while recording six strikeouts. Sheridan struck out two in the first inning and one in the second inning before giving up an unearned run in the third. She worked a clean fourth and then allowed two unearned runs on an error in right that could have ended the inning. Sheridan slammed the door shut in the final inning (sixth was final with tournament time limit) protecting a two-run lead to secure her first collegiate victory.
At the plate for the Lady Knights, they displayed excellent patience at the plate as they only swung at pitches in the strike zone and did not chase as Mustangs’ starter Jena Stukerjurgen pitched erratically. With that patience, they generated 12 walks as a team. More importantly, they made those walks hurt as they got key hits with runners on base to generate scoring. CCRI got two runs in the first as sophomore Meghan Rousseau (Richmond, RI) led-off with a walk and scored when the catcher tried to pick her off third base but she ended up scoring on an errant throw. Sophomore Kristina Rodriguez (North Kingstown, RI) scored the second CCRI run on a sacrifice from sophomore Jess Spargo (Westerly, RI) making the score 2-0 in the first. CCRI tacked on two more in the second as Bella Malvinni (Westerly, RI) and Rodriguez scored on a two RBI double from sophomore Mikayla Fernandez (Burrillville, RI) On a liner to the left center field gap past an outstretched Kourtney Medina. The Mustangs scored one in the third and two in the fifth cutting the Lady Knights' lead to one run with the score 4-3 CCRI. Freshman Maddie Cooper (Pawtucket, RI) led-off the sixth with a triple that she crushed to deep left field. Cooper scored later that inning on a wild pitch to give CCRI an insurance run and make the score 5-3. From there Sheridan finished off the game with no runs in the bottom of the inning to secure the first victory of the year for CCRI.
Leading the offensive attack was Maddie Cooper going 2-2 with two walks and a run scored and Mikayla Fernandez with a two-RBI double. Kristina Rodriguez added a hit, a stolen base and two runs scored. Jess Spargo added an RBI and Erica Jewett (Coventry, RI) added a hit while Meghan Rousseau and Bella Malvinni each had a run scored.
Western CT came to play and had a potent offensive attack that CCRI had a hard time containing. The Lady Knights used three pitchers who did not pitch poorly but the Colonials potent line-up combined with some shaky defense led to runs, five of which came in the fourth inning. The CCRI pitchers were Courtney Sheridan who started but left in the second with minor injury and unfortunately took the loss. She was relieved by Jess Spargo in the second and Erica Jewett came in during the fourth inning and finished the game.
Offensively CCRI could only muster four hits. Maddie Cooper continued her excellent day at the plate with a single, and Jess Spargo also added a single. The other two hits for the Lady Knights came from Bella Malvinni with a single and Kim Barker (Narragansett, RI) who got her first start and added a single.
The Lady Knights face two more very tough opponents tomorrow in THE Spring Games. At 1pm CCRI will play the Cougars of Highland Community College from Freeport, IL and at 3pm they will face the Barons of Rowan College at Burlington County from Pemberton, NJ.
The Community College of Rhode Island, New England’s largest comprehensive community college, enrolls nearly 18,000 students in credit courses and thousands more in non-credit and job training classes. Its athletic program boasts 12 varsity programs and an academic support program for all student-athletes.