SMITHFIELD, R.I. – The Bryant University softball team earned its first Northeast Conference sweep on the road, defeating Mount St. Mary's in Saturday's doubleheader, including a 2-1 win in nine innings.
The Bulldogs (11-33, 6-7 NEC) were previously ranked tied for fifth in the league with the Mount (19-27, 5-8) but a sweep over the hosts helped them separate with one conference doubleheader to play.
The Black and Gold recorded their fourth shutout of the season, defeating the Mountaineers, 4-0, in game one of the doubleheader.
After four scoreless innings, Bryant found its first lead of the game, 2-0, in the top of the fifth. With one out, senior Lauren Keast (Holliston, Mass.) singled to short before stealing second. Sophomore Kaleigh Goulart (Marion, Mass.) and senior Taylor Burger (Killingworth, Conn.) took base after being walked and hit by a pitch.
With one out and the bases loaded, freshman Gabrielle Ermish (Pottstown, Pa.) reached on a fielder's choice, while Keast scored for the Bulldogs' 1-0 edge. Goulart advanced to third on the fielder's choice, before scoring off a wild pitch, pushing Bryant's lead to two, 2-0.
After the Mount went down in order for the second time in the contest, the Bulldogs capitalized in the top of the sixth, putting the game out of reach with two more runs.
With two outs and the bases loaded, Goulart tripled to right center, plating Keast and Monroe for the Bulldogs' 4-0 advantage.
The Mount recorded just one hit in the final two innings, while Ermish fanned one in the bottom of the seventh, finishing game one with four strikeouts.
Ermish moved to 9-7 on the season after allowing no runs off three hits. Sam Lichtner was dealt the loss after letting up four runs off four hits, while fanning six batters.
Keast went 2-for-4 with two runs, while Goulart went 1-for-2 with one run. Lindsey Heinze went 2-for-2.
The Bulldogs took a 1-0 lead in the top of the third when Keast hit a sacrifice fly to center field, plating freshman Marianna Politis (Arcadia, Calif.) from third.
The Mount wasted no time, responding back in the bottom of the frame after Rachel Heinze hit a two-out homer to left field to draw the score, 1-1.
After four scoreless innings, game two went into extra innings. In the top of the eighth, freshman Helaina Michaud (Phoenixville, Pa.) singled off a bunt, before Keast reached on a fielding error by the shortstop. The Bulldogs ultimately stranded both runners after Goulart flied out and Burger popped up.
The Mount went down in order in the bottom of the eighth.
In the top of the ninth, the Bulldogs earned the go-ahead run, taking a 2-1 lead. With one out and Ermish on second, senior Robyn Ukegawa (Carlsbad, Calif.) doubled down the left field line, scoring Ermish unearned.
The Mount were unable to respond in the bottom of the frame, leaving one runner on first.
Ermish recorded her second-straight win on the mound, allowing one run off five hits, while striking out three. Lichtner earned her second-straight loss, letting up two runs off five hits, while fanning four. Ukegawa went 1-for-1, while Morgan Alisauckas went went 1-for-2.
The Bulldogs have a quick turnaround, facing LIU Brooklyn in a doubleheader on Sunday, beginning at 3:30 p.m.