Bulldogs host Minutewomen in final game of the season

Bulldogs host Minutewomen in final game of the season

SMITHFIELD, R.I. – Bryant University softball wraps up the 2017 season with a non-league home contest on Tuesday, hosting Massachusetts at 2 p.m.

Freshman Gabrielle Ermish (Pottstown, Pa.) earned her first Northeast Conference Rookie of the Week award after her role in Bryant's sweep over Mount St. Mary's over the weekend. The freshman went 2-1 on the week with a 1.53 ERA, and allowed 15 hits over 18.1 innings of work. She earned a pair complete game wins against the Mount, starting with a three-hit shutout in a 4-0 victory in Saturday's opener. In the nightcap, Ermish went nine innings, yielding a lone run on five hits as the Bulldogs earned a 2-1 triumph in extra innings. The Pennsylvania product scored the Bulldogs' game-winning run in the ninth inning to solidify the sweep. She also doubled and hit her first career homer the following afternoon against LIU Brooklyn. Ermish leads Bryant staff with ten wins on the year.

Despite sweeping Wagner on Saturday, the Bulldogs' two-straight losses to LIU Brooklyn on Sunday keeps the Bulldogs out of the NEC top four. Four teams have earned eight or more wins, while Bryant totaled seven conference wins this season with some league opponents scheduled to play on the makeup weekend. Saint Francis U. claimed the top seed with a perfect 16-0 NEC record.

The Minutewomen (24-20, 12-4 A-10) enter Tuesday's game on two-straight wins over conference foe La Salle. UMass is 12-4 in conference play, recording two shutouts against league opponents. The Minutewomen rank fourth in the conference and 75th in the nation, averaging 1.29 stolen bases per game. Candice Dennis leads the team with 0.51 per game, placing her third in the league and 59th in the country. Ashton Wince tops the A-10, averaging 0.2 sacrifice hits per game which also ranks her 73rd nationally.

Tuesday's contest marks only the second meeting between the Bulldogs and Minutewomen, as UMass leads the series, 1-0, after defeating Bryant, 8-1, last season in Amherst.