SMITHFIELD, R.I. – After a 24-game away stint, ranging from North Carolina, Florida and California, the Bryant University softball team returns to New England to face Boston University in Beantown on Thursday at 4 p.m.
The Bulldogs (4-20) are coming off a 1-4 finish at the CSUN Tournament, after defeating Quinnipiac, 4-1. The Black and Gold have improved offensively, batting .199 as a unit, while senior Haylee Haas (Moorpark, Calif.) continues to lead the Bulldogs' productivity, batting .273. Classmate Taylor Burger (Killingworth, Conn.) has improved to .255, after recording hits in each of the last five games, including her first triple of the season against Northern Colorado.
Freshman Gabrielle Ermish (Pottstown, Pa.) has been efficient both on the mound and at the plate. The rookie averages .176, totaling a career-best two hits on two occasions. Ermish also leads the pitching staff, boasting a 4.50 ERA and 3-5 record. The Pennsylvania native has fanned a team-best 23 batters, while allowing 35 runs off 64 hits in 51 innings.
Like the Bulldogs, the Terriers (8-14) won one game in their last series, topping Cal State Fullerton, 6-4, at the Long Beach State Tournament. BU finished 1-6 in the tournament, losing two one-score decisions, including an 11-10 deficit to San Diego State in eight innings.
The Terriers average .256 as a team, while Moriah Connolly and Gabi Martinez lead the offense, averaging .352 and .319, respectively. Connolly has totaled a team-best 22 runs off 25 hits, including one of the Terriers' two triples this season. Martinez has tops the unit with four homeruns and 15 RBI.
The pitching staff is led by Makinna Akers' 3.07 ERA, as the senior sits 4-3 in the circle. Akers has thrown 27 strikeouts and walked nine batters in 45 innings. Kali Magane posts a 3.38 ERA and 4-5 record on the mound. The freshman has allowed 35 runs off 65 hits, while fanning 19 in 58 innings this season.
The contest begins at 4 p.m. on Thursday and fans can follow along with the action at bryantbulldogs.com.