SMITHFIELD, R.I. – The Bryant University softball team wrapped up play at the Cal State Northridge Tournament with a split, falling to Colorado St. in Game 1 before knocking off Iona for the second time in Game 2 Saturday afternoon in Northridge, Calif.
Similar to their matchup vs. Colorado St. nearly two weeks ago, the Bulldogs (7-17) struggled to get things going at the plate, falling to the Rams (16-12), 8-1, in the first game of Saturday's doubleheader.
In the top of the first inning, junior Liana Ogata (Tustin, Calif.) led off the inning with a base knock to left field, and after a ground out to the right side of the infield, found herself in scoring position. After Bryant's second out, junior Elle Madsen (Wheat Ridge, Colo.) laced a double into left field to score Ogata and give the Black and Gold the early 1-0 lead.
However, Colorado St. responded emphatically in the bottom half of the inning, scoring four runs including a three-run triple from Jaelyn Manzanares to take the 4-1 lead after one. The Rams would go on to add four more runs scattered through the final six innings of play to hold on for the 8-1 victory.
Junior pitcher Hayley Bottino (Canyon Country, Calif.) allowed only three earned runs (eight total) on 11 hits and a pair of walks in six innings of work in the circle for Bryant. Ogata, Madsen, and freshman infielder Rachel Monroe (Southwick, Mass.), who registered a double in the top of the fifth, accounted for the Bulldogs' three hits in the contest.
In the second leg of Saturday's double dip, the Bulldogs completed a two-game sweep of Iona with a 5-2 victory in Bryant's CSUN Tournament finale.
The Black and Gold exploded for 10 hits, including the first-career homerun from freshman Maritza Martinez (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.), en route to the victory. Madsen allowed the two runs on just three hits and two walks in seven innings of work for her fourth victory of the season.
After a pair of scoreless innings to start the game, the Bulldogs got on the board in the top of the third when an RBI double down the left field line from senior Madeline Velasquez (Los Angeles, Calif.) drove in Haylee Haas (Moorpark, Calif.) to give Bryant the 1-0 advantage.
The Black and Gold would add two in the fourth thanks to Martinez's two-run blast and two in the sixth on a two-run single from freshman catcher Robyn Ukegawa (Carlsbad, Calif.) to take a 5-0 lead going into the seventh inning.
The Gaels (1-8) tacked on a pair of runs in the bottom of the seventh but, the late push was not enough as the Bulldogs rode Madsen to the 5-2 victory.
Haas, Velasquez, and sophomore outfielder Taylor Burger (Killingworth, Conn.) each tallied a pair of hits in the game with Martinez and Ukegawa logging two RBI a piece.
Looking ahead, Bryant will head back east for the Yale Invitational on March 21-22 before its home opener vs. URI on Wednesday, March 25.