Fourth-year picther Liz Lynchard held the Patriots to only three scored runs in six innings during game one of Saturday’s doubleheader. PHOTO CREDIT: gorhody.com
The University of Rhode Island Softball team faced George Mason University this past weekend, winning one of their three back to back games in Fairfax, Virginia.
The team took a trip down to play on Spuhler Field for their first game of the weekend that started at 2 p.m. on Saturday. After the team’s most recent win against George Washington the previous weekend, second year infielder Emily Power explained that her and the team felt confident heading into their games against George Mason. Even with the team’s 0-3 loss in the first game on Saturday, Power mentioned that the team still had a good confidence level heading into their second game on Saturday.
During the first game on Saturday, fourth year pitcher Liz Lynchard stuckout nine of George Mason’s hitters, without letting any of them get a walk from it. Lynchard only let three runs happen, the first taking place in the first inning, followed by the second in the third inning, and to finish the score off for the game, the last run was in the sixth inning.
From Power’s perspective, she noticed a lot about her team’s performance in the first game on Saturday.
“Liz Lynchard pitched an amazing game,” Power said. “We just didn’t come through as offensively as we should have.”
In the second game of the series on Saturday at 4:30 p.m., second-year pitcher Katie Zaun did not give the George Mason Patriots a chance, as she struckout nine of the opposing team’s batters. George Mason’s players began to fill the bases but shortly after, Zaun cut off any chance of them advancing in the game. Zaun’s pitches led to Geroge Mason’s Alena Ball hitting a fly out and she was able to strike out another opponent, Marlaina Bozek.
Later in the second game, fourth-year outfielder Skyler Rapuano hit a single that resulted in George Mason’s centerfield player Charlotte Montgomery failing to catch the ball. The failed attempt by the Patriots led to fourth-year infielder Cassie Swenson scoring the first and only run of the game for the Rams in the sixth inning, which was enough to come away with the 1-0 win.
As the team itself works together more as the season progresses, Power highlighted the changes she saw in comparison to last year.
“I think we are all more comfortable,” Power said, “We’ve gelled together really well as a team this year”.
The third and final game on Sunday started at 11 a.m., resulting in the Rams losing 0-1 to the Patriots. With a chance to tie the game at the top of the seventh inning after falling behind, fifth-year infielder Elena Gonzalez made it to second base and was about to take third when Geroge Mason’s second baseman, Marlina Bozek took a dive to stop the ball and prevent Gonzalez from advancing. The Patriots pitcher struck out first year catcher, Kylie Bulinski which closed out the third and final game of the weekend.
After experiencing what it is like to play against George Mason, Power pointed out that the Rams will play against them later in the season.
“I’m glad we played them now before it gets to the tournament,” Power said. “We know what we have to do to prepare before then.”
Power explained the process of the teams practices leading up to their weekend. She acknowledged her coaches and their methods of teaching. According to Power, head Coach Whitney Goldstein prepares the team by showing the players videos of the opponents in their own games. Power elaborated to state that this teaching tool has helped her to prepare for her upcoming games.
Coach Goldstein has made a name for herself here at the University and in the opinion of Power and the rest of the softball team, Goldstein provides the players with words of encouragement that gives them the motivation to succeed.
“Love the game when the game doesn’t love you back,” Goldestein said, “Love the game when you love it even more.”
Power mentioned how not every practice might feel like her best playing, but then always has the advice of head coach Goldstein in the back of her mind.
“Always give 100% and even when you feel like it’s only 90%, give me 100% of your 90%,” Goldsetin said.
According to Power, the team has kept up the energy as they head into the rest of their busy week. Looking forward, the team is going to be playing three different teams this week. The Rams will take on Providence College in an away game on Wednesday March 29, followed by Brown University on home field March 30th and 31st. To wrap up the week, Rhody will play Saint Jospehs in another weekend of three back to back home games, with first pitch set for Saturday at noon from the URI Softball Complex. The home series will be streamed on ESPN+.