ST. LOUIS -- A pair of home runs powered Rhode Island to an 8-3 victory over Saint Louis Friday at the Billiken Sports Center in the Atlantic 10 Conference opener for both teams.
Due to anticipated bad weather, game two of the two-game set - originally scheduled for Saturday at noon - was begun Friday night. The Billikens led 2-0 in the top of the fifth when rain halted the contest. The game will resume Saturday at noon.
Alyson Brand got the Billikens (13-16, 0-1 A-10) on the board with an RBI double in the bottom of the first. Jessica Buschjost drew a leadoff walk to begin SLU's half of the frame and immediately stole second base. Buschjost remained on second through the next two batters before Brand's two-bagger to left center gave the SLU the edge.
Meg Kelly's single to center field sparked a two-run rally in the Rams' half of the third. After Brittany Julich's bunt single, Courtney Prendergast knocked a double to right field to put URI on top 2-1.
SLU got that run back in the bottom of the frame. Laura Bohning's RBI double to left center plated Brand, who reached one at-bat earlier after being hit by a pitch.
Kelly Coker's grand slam with nobody out in the top of the fifth put Rhody on top 6-2. A Billiken error, a hit by pitch and a Nicole Massoni single preceded the home run. URI went up 8-2 in the seventh when Stacey Fox hit a two-run blast with two outs.Hannah Huebbe (7-6) shouldered the loss for the Bills, surrendering six runs (five earned) on eight hits and three walks while striking out five.