SMITHFIELD, R.I. – The Bryant University softball team earned its first home win of the season after splitting games with Sacred Heart on Friday, winning, 2-0, in game one before losing, 2-1, in game two.
The Bulldogs (8-28, 3-4 NEC) found an early 1-0 lead over the Pioneers (9-17, 1-2) in the bottom of the first. After being walked by Jamie Carlson, senior Haylee Haas (Moorpark, Calif.) was sent to second off a sacrifice bunt by classmate Lauren Keast (Holliston, Mass.), before the centerfielder stole third. With one out and Haas in scoring position, sophomore Kaleigh Goulart (Marion, Mass.) hit an RBI single to right field, giving the Bulldogs a 1-0 edge.
The Pioneers didn't record a single hit in the next three innings, going down in order in two of them in part to freshman Gabrielle Ermish's (Pottstown, Pa.) two thrown strikeouts. The Bulldogs capitalized in the bottom of the fourth, tacking on another run to push the margin to two, 2-0. With two outs and a runner on second, Ermish doubled to center field, plating the pinch running freshman Helaina Michaud (Phoenixville, Pa.) from second.
In the top of the fifth, the Bulldog defense held strong, finding the first of three double plays against the Pioneers on Friday afternoon. Freshman Marianna Politis (Arcadia, Calif.) fielded Andrew Sidor's line out, before throwing it to first to get the runner off base. The double play ended the inning with the Bulldogs still up by two.
The Pioneers pressed on and in the top of the sixth with one out and both runners in scoring position, Fallon Bevino flied out to a diving Haas in centerfield, while Lauren Delgadillo was ruled out at third after leaving base early. The Bulldogs escaped the inning on the double play.
Bryant hung on through the top of the seventh, capturing their first win of the season at Conaty Park, 2-0. Ermish and senior Taylor Burger (Killingworth, Conn.) both went 2-for-3, as Bryant totaled seven hits. The Pioneers were limited to four hits, as Hailey Desrosiers 2-for-3 mark led the visitors.
Ermish moved to 6-6 on the season, allowing no runs, while fanning five batters. Carlson recorded the loss, letting up two runs off seven hits, while striking out seven.
The Bulldogs (8-29, 3-5 NEC) found another 1-0 advantage over the Pioneers (10-17, 2-2) in the bottom of the first, after Goulart hit a sacrifice fly to left field, plating Haas from third. Both teams went on to struggle offensively, combining for four hits in the following the three innings.
The Bulldogs gave up their one-run lead in the top of the fifth, committing back-to-back errors, including Politis' error that led to McKenna Wiegand's no out, unearned score that tied the contest, 1-1. One out later, pinch hitter Katelyn Christian hit a sacrifice fly to left field, plating Sidor for the unearned, go-ahead score, 2-1. Sophomore Colby Norris (Toano, Va.) helped the Bulldogs out of the inning, trailing by one after catching Bevino swinging.
In the top of the seventh, the Bulldogs earned their third double play of the day after Norris caught Christian looking before junior Robyn Ukegawa (Carlsbad, Calif.) caught Desrosiers trying to steal second.
The Bulldogs could only muster up one hit in the final three innings, including Politis' two-out single to left field in the bottom of the seventh, as they fell in game two, 2-1.
The Bulldogs only combined for three hits in game two, as Politis went 1-for-1 with one walk. The Pioneers totaled eight hits, as Bevino led the offense with a 2-for-3 mark.
Norris still remains winless on the mound at 0-10 on the season, despite three strikeouts in game two of the doubleheader. Kristen McCann earned her third win of the year, allowing one run off three hits, while fanning three.
The Bulldogs waste no time, returning to action tomorrow when they host Fairleigh Dickinson at noon and 2 p.m.