Harrisburg, DR RBI squads off to hot start

Harrisburg, DR RBI squads off to hot start

Harrisburg, DR RBI squads off to hot start
MINNEAPOLIS -- The softball portion of the 2012 Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities World Series got under way with round-robin play on Tuesday, with two teams finishing the day undefeated.

Harrisburg RBI took a 7-2 victory over Cleveland RBI and a 6-0 win against Big Island RBI (Hilo, Hawaii). Meanwhile, the Dominican Republic RBI squad triumphed over RBI Atlanta, 7-6, and defeated Houston RBI, 5-2.

Though Houston was knocked off in its second game, the team impressed in its first contest, a 5-1 win over Matthews-Dickey Boys & Girls Club RBI. Aiding Houston is the fact that five girls return from last year's squad, which also qualified for the RBI World Series.

"The butterflies, the cameras, all the hype -- they know," Houston coach Robert Cazares said. "The going from one place to another from game to game. They know the intensity of this tournament."

Alexandra Mendoza paced Houston's offense, going 3-for-4 with 3 RBIs and a run scored.

"She did what she was supposed to do," Cazares said. "That's basically what I tell the girls -- 'No matter what errors you make, it's how you come back from those errors that make you a good ball player.'

"She comes out and does her job, so we're happy with that."

Round-robin play will continue with eight more intra-divisional games each on Wednesday and Thursday before the tournament's playoffs start on Saturday. The teams' performances in round-robin play will determine their playoff seeding.

"I'm trying to get as many points up on the board as possible," Cazares said. "But you never know which team comes out to play. We're just trying to do our best and come out and have some fun."

Jordan Garretson is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.