Olson, Azulay lead CCRI to seventh straight title
The CCRI softball team shut out the Warriors of Massasoit Community College 6-0 and 8-0 on Saturday to capture the Region XXI championship for the seventh year in a row.
On the mound in game one, Michelle Sylvestre (Warwick) scattered seven hits in seven strong innings, walking none and striking out three.
At the plate for the Lady Knights, Ashley Olson (Coventry) became the all-time hits leader for CCRI, going 3-for-3 with two triples and a single. She added a sacrifice, two RBI and a run scored. Olson smoked a triple to right field in the fourth inning to tie Jess Borden’s 110 career hits and then drilled a single up the middle in the sixth to become the all-time hits leader with 111 career hits. In addition, the two RBI give her 99 career RBI, which puts her just one away from becoming the first Lady Knight to amass 100 for her career.
Also helping CCRI was Izzy MarcAurele (Cranston) with two doubles and three RBI. Devin Azulay (Attleboro, Mass.) added a hit and an RBI with two runs scored and a stolen base. Rounding out the Lady Knights’ attack was Nissa Perez (Warwick) with a double and a run scored and Kayla Matarese (Cranston) with a single.
In game two, Azulay blanked the Warriors for five shutout innings, walking one and striking out six. Azulay struck out Stephanie Glynn for the last out of the game to give her 200 strikeouts for her career, the most by any Lady Knight. At the plate, Azulay helped her cause with two singles.
Other offensive contributors included Leslie Peralta (Providence), who went 2-for-2 with a single and a two-run home run and two runs scored and Nissa Perez with a single, a triple, two RBI and a run scored. Olson added a hit and a run scored, while Sylvestre, Sarah Siconio (Warwick), Matarese and MarcAurele each had a hit and a run scored.
The Lady Knights also celebrated Sophomore Day and held a Pink Out to raise awareness for women’s cancers. The team raised $112 for the Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
CCRI will host the District 1 tournament this weekend, as it welcomes Mercyhurst North East and Orange County Community College to town. The double-elimination tournament has Mercyhurst and Orange playing at 10 a.m. on Saturday, followed by Orange versus CCRI at 12 p.m., and CCRI versus Mercyhurst at 2 p.m. Depending on Saturday’s outcomes, there will be either one of two games on Sunday until there is only one team left without two losses.
Hopkins notches 300th career win
The CCRI baseball team split a doubleheader with UConn-Avery Point, and with a 3-2 victory in the first game, head coach Ken Hopkins recorded his 300th career win at CCRI.
Last season, Hopkins became the school’s all-time winningest baseball coach, passing Whitey Fell. Just a year later, Hopkins has reached another milestone.
“I did not throw one pitch or hit one ball,” Hopkins said of the achievement. “All the credit goes to my great staff and the fact that I have been blessed to have many great players play for me. All the credit goes to them.”
CCRI improved to 29-10 on the season and 12-4 in Region XXI play. The game one victory over the Pointers clinched first place in the conference for the Knights, and the home-field advantage for next weekend’s Region XXI tournament.
In game one for the Knights, Brendan Cabral (Scituate) pitched 6.2 innings, scattering five hits while striking out six Pointers to pick up the victory. Kevin Dale (Warwick) came on in relief with the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh to get the save and secure the win.
Nick Coro (North Providence) paced the offensive attack for the Knights with three hits, two runs scored, and the game winning RBI single, which plated John Razzino (Cranston) in the top of the sixth inning.
In game two, the Panthers scored three runs in the third inning and broke the game open with four more in the sixth. Ben Libuda (Auburn, Mass.) took the loss for the Knights after giving up five runs in three innings.
The lone highlight for CCRI was a solo home run by Mike Sherburne (North Kingstown) in the top of the third as the team could only muster up five hits over the seven innings.
CCRI will host the best-of-three Region XXI championship series this weekend, beginning on Friday afternoon at 4 p.m. at Fell Field on the Knight Campus in Warwick. Game two is scheduled for Saturday at 12 p.m., with a game three slated for Monday at 4 p.m. if necessary.
Allen breaks school record at Brown Open
The CCRI track & field team traveled to Brown University in Providence on Sunday to take part in the Brown Springtime Invitational. The biggest bright spot for the Knights was Bobby Allen (Cranston, RI), who reset his own school record on his way to victory in the 1,500 with a time of three minutes, 55.70 seconds.
Robert Brothers (Cranston) led the way to helping the Knights qualify a 4x800 team for the NJCAA III Championships by running a 42nd place time of 2:14.10. Teams are able to qualify a 4x800 relay time using a composite time of its best four 800 runners. Brothers will be joined by Isaiah Hector (Warwick) who placed 41st on Sunday with a time of 210.74. Marciano Brunette (Narragansett) ran 2:10.20 earlier in the season at the UMass-Dartmouth Invitational and Allen ran 1:59.00 last week at the Connecticut College Silfen Invitational. The composite time of 8:34.04 meets the NJCAA mark. The 2:14.10 was Brothers’ personal-best.
Brunette also placed fifth in the 400m hurdles in a season-best time of 100.06. Howard Homes (Narragansett) placed 23rd in the shot put with a mark of 12.16. Cassandra Gustafson (Pawtucket) placed seventh in the javelin with a toss of 30.49. Ephraim Soe (Providence) placed 20th in the 100 with a time of 11.79 seconds. Zackary Iem (Cranston) placed 31st in a time of 12.85 seconds in the 100m then placed 31st in the 200 in a time of 25.48.
Next week, CCRI will compete at the Division III track & field nationals next weekend at Alfred State College in Alfred, N.Y. CCRI’s participants include: Allen in the 1,500 and the 5,000; Anthony Cox in the long jump, the 100 and the 200, Brunette in the 400 hurdles; Homes in the shot put and the team of Brothers, Allen, Hector and Brunette in the 4x800 relay. For the Lady Knights, Gustafson and Jess Randall (Warwick) will compete in the javelin.