TUCSON, Ariz. – The Bryant University softball team earned its first win of the season in the final day of the Hillenbrand Invitational, topping Louisiana-Monroe 6-4 in the first game of Sunday's doubleheader. The Bulldogs then fell to the host team, Arizona, in the second game, 14-0.
Bryant 6, Louisiana Monroe 4 (Gm 1)
#12 Arizona 14, Bryant 0 (Gm 2)
Records: Bryant (1-3), ULM (4-4), Arizona (8-1)
Location: Hillenbrand Stadium (Tucson, Ariz.)
COACH LOTITO'S COMMENTS
"The whole team had a lot to do with our success," Bryant head coach Shayne Lotito said. "I think Dakota's two-run home run sparked the excitement and the energy spiked the rest of the game.
"The whole weekend has been about growing and learning from our mistakes. The other part has been about believing in our abilities and believing in each other. The first game, the team really did believe that. They got runners in scoring position and came through big to help us get the win.
"We saw a lot of great things from the team, but they also saw a lot of great things from each other. We are going to take some of the mistakes we made and work in practice to get better and learn from them.
"In the first game, Sarah [McKeveny] and Logan [Paul] did a great job managing stress and keeping their composure on the mound. The defense did a great job of making plays when the game was the line and ultimately helped us get the win."
KEY MOMENT (Gm 1)
- In the second inning, freshman Dakota Bilodeau (Milford, N.H.) connected for a two-run home run in her first collegiate at-bat to give the Bulldogs a 2-0 lead. Bilodeau drove in senior catch Robyn Ukegawa (Carlsbad, Calif.), who reached on an error in the prior at-bat.
HOW IT HAPPENED (Gm 1)
- ULM tied and eventually took the lead in the fourth inning. Back-to-back singles plated three Warhawk runners, forcing Lotito to call upon redshirt junior Logan Paul (Shaker Heights, Ohio), who ended the inning by forcing ULM's Rochelle Roberts to groundout.
- A four-run fifth gave the Bulldogs the lead back, plus a few insurance runs. After Rachel Monroe (Southwick, Mass.) and Tiffany Bell (Egg Harbor City, N.J.) walked to start the inning, junior Kaleigh Goulart (Marion, Mass.) laced a single to left field to score two runners and give Bryant back the lead.
- The Bulldogs scored two more runs the next at-bat, when freshman Alex Hickey (St. John, Ind.) singled through the left side to plate Goulart and freshman Morgan Powell (Murrieta, Calif.).
- ULM would scratch another run across the plate in the sixth after a defensive miscue by the Bulldogs allowed the runner to score.
STATS (Gm 1)
- Paul pitched 3.1 innings in relief, allowing three hits and one unearned run. She did not surrender a walk but did hit a batter.
- The Bulldogs had five hits in the ballgame, all from different batters.
- Sophomore Nicole Davis (Toms River, N.J.) pinch-ran for Monroe in the fifth inning and scored a run.
- Sydney McKay went 2-for-4 for the Warhawks, also driving in two runs.
KEY MOMENT (Gm 2)
- Already leading 1-0, Hillary Edior homered to double the Wildcats lead and give Arizona all the offense it would need.
HOW IT HAPPENED (Gm 2)
- Arizona scored in every inning in the win. The 12th-ranked Wildcats took advantage of four home runs en route to the win.
STATS (Gm 2)
- Goulart knocked a single into center field in the first inning for the Bulldogs.
- Junior Colby Norris (Toano, Va.), and freshmen Sarah McKeveny (Bohemia, N.Y.) and Adriana Sanchez (Clyde, Ohio) all recorded strikeouts on the mound for the Black and Gold.
- Bilodeau's home run gave the Bulldogs' three long balls in as many games.
- The victory over ULM was the first time the two schools have met in program history.
- The Bulldogs fall to 0-4 all-time versus Arizona.
The Bulldogs are next in action on Friday, Feb. 23 when the team takes on Fordham and Drake on the first day of the USF Tournament in Tampa, Florida. The doubleheader begins at 9:15 a.m.