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Softball opens 2018 season at Hillenbrand Invitational

Softball opens 2018 season at Hillenbrand Invitational

SMITHFIELD, R.I. – The Bryant University softball team officially opens the season on Friday, Feb. 16 when the Bulldogs compete in the 2018 Hillenbrand Invitational hosted by the University of Arizona. The Black and Gold take on ULM in their season opener, followed by Arizona later in the day.

The team will play five games over the course of the weekend, also taking on Troy and Colorado State Saturday and the Rams again on Sunday.

The Particulars

Friday
Opponent: Game 1: Louisiana-Monroe | Game 2: Arizona
Location: Hillenbrand Stadium | Tucson, Ariz.
Times: Game 1: 3 p.m. Eastern / 1 p.m. Mountain | Game 2: 8 p.m. Eastern | 6 p.m. Mountain

Saturday
Opponent: Game 3: Troy | Game 4: Colorado State
Location: Hillenbrand Stadium | Tucson, Ariz.
Times: Game 1: 11 a.m. Eastern / 9 a.m. Mountain | Game 2: 1 p.m. Eastern | 11 a.m. Mountain 

Sunday
Opponent: Colorado State
Location: Hillenbrand Stadium | Tucson, Ariz.
Time: 1 p.m. Eastern | 11 a.m. Mountain

Watch Live: Pac-12.com
Live Stats: ArizonaWildcats.com

SERIES HISTORY

  • This is the first-ever meeting between ULM and Bryant.
  • Bryant and Arizona have met on three previous occasions, with the Wildcats coming away victorious in each matchup. The teams last met a year ago on March 12.
  • This is also the first time that Troy and Bryant have met in program history.
  • Colorado State and Bryant have met twice previous, each in the 2015 season. Colorado State won each game.

BULLDOG NOTES AND NOTABLES

  • The Bulldogs are coming off a 12-36 finish in the 2017 season, narrowly missing the Northeast Conference Championships.
  • Bryant welcomes back five positional starters to the 2018 team, including captain Nicole Zukowski (Medford, N.Y.) and junior Kaleigh Goulart (Marion, Mass.), the two leading home run hitters on last year's team.
  • In the circle, all four pitchers who logged innings for the Bulldogs last year return in 2018. Sophmore Gabrielle Ermish (Pottstown, Pa.) and junior Colby Norris (Toano, Va.) combined for 193.1 innings last season and both expect to be a force for head coach Shayne Lotito's squad this year.

SCOUTING THE FIELD

  • ULM opened its season at home in the Mardi Gras Classic, going 3-1 in the tournament. The team fell to LSU in a midweek matchup.
  • Arizona opened up its season last weekend and went 4-1 in the Kajikawa Classic held in Tempe. The Wildcats' lone loss came to 24th-ranked Oklahoma State.
  • Troy hosted the Troy University Tournament a week ago, going 3-0 before the final two games with being canceled to weather. The team fell to Auburn in a midweek game at home.
  • Colorado State went 4-0 to open the season at the Texas Classic in Austin, Texas last week. The Rams earned wins over Wisconsin, Incarnate Word twice, and Texas.