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Harrisburg leads the way on Day 2 of RBI World Series

MINNEAPOLIS -- When Harrisburg RBI took the field Sunday afternoon at the Neiman Sports Complex, it held a perfect 3-0 record through a day and a half of the RBI World Series.

Harrisburg didn't relent as it charged past Houston, 5-2 -- joining Santo Domingo RBI with an unbeaten 4-0 record.

"It's very important to our players to stay in that positive area," Harrisburg head coach Mike Stepp said. "They came out here with a goal in mind. Teams are laying out there, laying in the weeds waiting for us and stuff like that. We're marked and our players know that. It's not going to be an easy thing when we get to the elimination round."

Harrisburg jumped ahead in the first as cleanup hitter Meghan Kisela dropped an RBI base hit to right field, bringing in Vanessa Hoffman, who reached earlier in the inning on a base hit of her own.

Hoffman scored two more times in the game, including the go-ahead run in the third. After reaching on a double, Rubie Teffeteller scored on a Cassidy Pinchorski sac fly to center, Hoffman scored on a base hit from Nina Bruno to make it 3-0.

Harrisburg added two more runs in the fifth, both scored by Teffeteller and Hoffman, respectively. The two were a combined 4-for-7 on the afternoon. Houston picked up a pair of runs in the sixth to prevent the shutout. The Texas team strung together five hits in the frame, including a pair of RBI base hits from Amanda Hernandez and Esperanza Mahoney.

But a stellar one-two punch on the mound for Harrisburg kept Houston at bay all afternoon. Starter Pinchorski and relief pitcher Lexus Allen combined for six strikeouts on the afternoon and allowed just two runs on nine hits.

"The key has been our pitching," Stepp said.

"Pitching is everything in fast-pitch softball. They have to take care of their business and make the job easier for the defense."

Harrisburg started the day with a grind against Atlanta RBI, taking the 7-6 win. Atlanta fell to 0-4 after losing, 8-6, to Hilo RBI.

After an 0-2 Day 1, Hilo moved to 2-2 with the win over Atlanta and an 11-3 win over St. Louis, which bounced back from the morning's loss as its bats came alive in a 13-13 tie with Hoboken. Hoboken also took a morning loss in a 5-4 tilt with Cleveland.

Cleveland moved to a 2-2 record after it was routed, 10-0, by Santo Domingo.

The teams each have one final game Monday morning before the playoffs begin Tuesday.

For the third consecutive year, the Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) World Series is being hosted by the Twins, with baseball and softball tournament games scheduled to be played through Wednesday on various fields throughout Minneapolis and St. Paul. The RBI World Series is the international baseball and softball tournament of the RBI program.

Kelly Erickson is an associate reporter for