SMITHFIELD, R.I. – Fresh off a 3-1 weekend finish in NEC play, the Bryant University softball team turns its attention to Providence College for Wednesday's in-state battle, beginning at 4 p.m.
SWEEPING THE KNIGHTS
Most recently, the Bulldogs (10-29, 5-5 NEC) swept Fairleigh Dickinson, 7-0, in two-straight games. Prior to the back-to-back shutouts, the Black and Gold split with Sacred Heart, holding the Pioneers scoreless, 2-0, in game one of the doubleheader. The weekend results helped the Bulldogs improve to .500 in NEC play. The 7-0 wins also marked Bryant's most runs scored in a single game, as well as most in a series this season.
The Bulldogs blew out FDU in consecutive games, 7-0, 7-0, including an explosive five-run fifth inning in game one and a dominant four-run fourth inning in game two of the doubleheader. In game one, freshman Nicole Zukowski (Medford, N.Y.) hit the first two homeruns of her career, finishing the game 2-for-3 with two runs and five RBI. In game two, classmate Tiffany Bell (Egg Harbor City, N.J.) earned the first triple of her career, while Kaleigh Goulart (Marion, Mass.), Taylor Burger (Killingworth, Conn.) and Gabrielle Ermish (Pottstown, Pa.) all finished with RBIs.
ROOKIE ONLY BY TITLE
Ermish has been a stud on the mound for the Bulldogs, as well as powerhouse player at the plate. The freshman has lowered her ERA to a team-best 2.93, while posting an 8-6 record in the circle. She recorded all three of Bryant's wins over the weekend, including all three shutouts, combining for 16 strikeouts in 19.5 innings pitched. In the same span, Ermish did not give up a single run off 14 hits.
The Pa. native went 2-for-3, including a double and a RBI in Bryant's 2-0 win over SHU. Against FDU, Ermish connected on 3-for-5, including two runs, two doubles and one RBI.
SCOUTING THE FRIARS
The Friars (12-22, 3-9 Big East) enter the contest on a three-game losing streak, all of which they lost at Depaul. PC ranks 64th nationally in scoring, as Nicole Lundstrom leads the team with 31 runs, while batting .355 with a team-best six home runs this season. Lunstrom leads the league with a .512 on base percentage and ranks eighth in the country in walks. Brittney Veler has totaled three triples this season, as the Friars sit 31st nationally and second in the Big East in triples per game. Christina Ramirez has seen the most time on the mound, posting a 4.79 ERA and 8-12 record. Ramirez has thrown 71 strikeouts and walked 58 batters in 124 innings.
Wednesday's games mark the sixth meeting between the Bulldogs and Friars with PC leading the series 4-1. Last season, the Bulldogs suffered a 7-0 loss to Providence in Smithfield and have found their only win against the in-state rival, 9-6, in 2012. Wednesday also marks the first doubleheader between the two teams with action set for 4 and 6 p.m. in the capital.