SMITHFIELD, R.I. – Coming off a record-setting opening weekend at the Spartan Invitational, the Bryant University softball team returns to the diamond on Friday vs. UC Riverside for the first of six games in Tucson Ariz., for the Wildcat Invitational.
Playing outside on a softball field for virtually the first time all season, the opening weekend in Spartanburg, S.C., could not have gone any better for the Bulldogs, picking up three wins and setting a new NCAA Division I record for homeruns in a single inning.
After an 11-1 rout of Maryland Eastern Shore on Friday, the Black and Gold made history in Saturday's rematch vs. the Hawks, hitting a NCAA DI record-tying 10 homers, including seven in the bottom of the third, on their way to a 19-6 win. The 19 runs marks the most scored by the Bulldogs since the 2011 season (26 vs. Wagner). Bryant closed out Saturday with a gritty 3-2 win over the high-powered offense of USC Upstate, before wrapping up tournament play with a tough loss to the host Spartans on Sunday.
Overall for the weekend, the Black and Gold combined to hit .330 with 15 homeruns and 35 runs scored. Junior Elle Madsen (Wheat Ridge, Colo.) went 5-for-12 (.417) with four homers and eight RBI on her way to earning Northeast Conference Player of the Week honors.
Looking ahead to the Wildcat Invite, the Bulldogs will have an opportunity to play six games against five different teams. Friday's games will feature showdowns with UC Riverside (12-4) and UT-Arlington (9-5) before games against Colorado State (6-9) and UTEP (2-13) on Saturday, and a pair vs. No. 15 Arizona (11-3) on Sunday.