(Courtesy Saint Louis Athletics)
Saint Louis scored five runs in the first inning and never looked back in a 7-2 victory over Rhode Island in game one of an Atlantic 10 Conference doubleheader Saturday at the Billiken Sports Center.
Rhode Island took game two, 2-1.
Lindsay Friedman led off the opener with a home run, her eighth of the season and the 18th of her career. The blast equaled Friedman’s own Saint Louis season record established last year, and it tied the junior center fielder with Laura Bohning for the Billikens’ career mark.
Alex Nickel followed with a walk, stole second and went to third on Ellie Huffman’s single. Kelsey Biggs doubled home Nickel, and with one away, pitcher Brianna Lore aided her own cause with a three-run shot, her second homer of the year, that made it 5-0.
Rhode Island (7-19, 2-2 A-10) scored two unearned runs in the third, but SLU got those tallies back in the fourth.
Friedman led off with a single, swiped second and scored on Nickel’s single. Nickel stole second, advanced to third on Huffman’s ground ball and scored on a double by Biggs.
Lore (12-7) got stronger as the game went on, allowing only one base runner over the final four innings. She struck out seven and allowed just three hits and one walk.
Friedman was 3-for-4, and Elizabeth Everingham had two hits for the Billikens (16-13, 3-1 A-10).
The Rams took a 1-0 lead in the second inning of the nightcap, but Laney Kneib (4-6) limited the damage by stranding the bases loaded. The Billikens pulled even in the third as Friedman drew a one-out walk, stole second and scored on Nickel’s single.
Saint Louis went on to load the bases, but Rhode Island reliever Sam Bedore (5-5) escaped with no more Billikens crossing the plate.
Rhode Island registered the winning run in the fifth. SLU had the tying run aboard in the fifth and seventh but did not score the equalizer.
Huffman doubled and singled for the Billikens. Kneib tossed four innings and yielded two runs, four hits and a walk, whlle Lore allowed three hits and fanned one over the final three frames.
The Billikens travel to Dayton Wednesday, April 2, for an A-10 doubleheader against the Flyers.