SMITHFIELD, R.I. – After being dealt a 12-4 blow in game one of the doubleheader, the Bryant University softball team put up a fight in game two, but was ultimately edged out, 7-6, by Providence College in eight innings on Wednesday night.
The Bulldogs (10-30) cut the Friars' (14-22) lead to one, 5-4, until the hosts put together a seven-run fifth inning to end the game with a 12-4 decision in five innings.
The Friars took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first after Julianna Rurka hit a two-RBI double to left field.
In the bottom of the second, PC pushed their lead to three, 4-1, scoring off two-straight at bats. With one out and a runner on second, Mackensie Compton hit an RBI double, before Emma Lee followed with one of her own.
In the top of the fourth with no outs and senior Taylor Burger (Killingworth, Conn.) on first, freshman Nicole Zukowski (Medford, N.Y.) hit the third homer of her career, pulling the Bulldogs within one, 4-3.
The Friars tacked on another in the bottom of the frame after Nicole Lundstrom hit a sacrifice fly for PC's 5-3 advantage.
Freshman Tiffany Bell (Egg Harbor City, N.J.) earned the Bulldogs' final run in the top of the fifth, before the Friars scored seven runs in the bottom of the inning, ending the game in their favor, 12-4.
Vanessa Portillo kicked off the scoring frenzy with an RBI double to right center. With one out and the bases loaded, sophomore Colby Norris (Toano, Va.) checked in on the mound for Brandi Burgin (Santa Clarita, Calif.). Compton was walked, sending Portillo in for a run, before Emma Lee was hit by a pinch, allowing Paige Mulry to score.
Lundstrom followed with a single to left field, plating Jackie Martin, before she advanced to second on an illegal pitch, sending Compton in for the score to push the lead to five, 9-4. The Friars ended the game off back-to-back RBI singles to right field, as the hosts took game one, 12-4, in five innings.
Ermish and Zukowski both went 1-for-2, as Bryant finished with four hits. Lee went 2-for-2 with two runs and two RBI, while Rurka went 3-for-4 with three RBI.
Megan McCune recorded her first win of the season on the mound, allowing three runs off three hits in 3.2 innings. Logan Paul (Shaker Heights, Ohio) was dealt the loss, letting up four runs off three hits in 2.0 innings.
The Bulldogs (10-31) took the initial 3-0 lead in the top of the second, before the Friars (15-22) tied the game in the bottom of the sixth en route to PC's sweep over Bryant, 7-6, in extra innings.
In the bottom of the second, the Bulldogs loaded the bases, before scoring their first run unearned after junior Rachel Monroe (Southwick, Mass.) was walked. The Black and Gold earned their second run, after Ermish reach on a fielder's choice and junior Robyn Ukegawa (Carlsbad, Calif.) scored from third. Bryant pushed its lead to three, 3-0, when Politis scored on an error by the catcher.
In the bottom of the third Lundstrom homered to left field, putting the hosts on board, 3-1.
In the top of the fifth, the Black and Gold reestablished its three-run lead, 4-1, when Burger doubled to left field, driving Goulart in for the score.
The Friars responded with a pair of runs in the bottom of the frame, 4-3. With two outs and the bases loaded, Rurka and Brittney Veler scored off errors by the Bulldogs' centerfielder.
Providence tied the game, 4-4, off Nadia Kemp's home run, before finding its first lead of the game off Lundstrom's RBI single to left field, 5-4, in the bottom of the sixth.
The Bulldogs forced extra innings, when Zukowski scored with one out in the top of the seventh, before the Friars went down in order in the bottom of the frame.
Bryant was first to strike in the top of the eighth. With one out and runners on second and third, senior Lauren Keast (Holliston, Mass.) hit an RBI single, plating Monroe for the go-ahead run, 6-5.
With no outs and a runner on second, Kemp reached on an error by the pitcher, allowing Mulry to score unearned from second, tying the contest, 6-6, in the bottom of the eighth. With one out and the bases loaded, Lundstrom hit a walk-off single to left field, solidifying the Friars' 7-6 game two victory.
Zukowski finished 1-for-3 with two runs, while Lundstrom went 4-for-5 with one run and three RBI. Burgin recorded the loss, allowing seven runs off 11 hits in 7.1 innings. Christina Ramirez moved to 10-12 on the season, after letting up six runs off six hits, while striking out eight batters in 8.0 innings.
The Bulldogs return to NEC play on Saturday, hosting Saint Francis U. at 1 and 3 p.m.