TAMPA, Fla. – The Bryant University softball team split a doubleheader on the first day of the USF Tournament in Tampa. The Bulldogs topped Fordham, 5-3, in the opening game of the tournament before falling to Drake, 13-0, in game two.
Bryant 5, Fordham 3 (Gm 1)
Drake 13, Bryant 0 (Gm 2)
Records: Bryant (2-4), Fordham (0-6), Drake (7-3)
Location: USF Softball Stadium (Tampa, Fla.)
COACH LOTITO'S COMMENTS
"I am extremely proud of how we came out and proud of how we played in the first game," said Bryant head coach Shayne Lotito. "It was a team effort -- Sarah [McKeveny] did great on the mound and Logan [Paul] did great solidifying the win for us. I'm really proud of both of them for being able to be so consistent.
"Having seniors spark, Robyn [Ukegawa] and Rachel [Monroe] at the plate and Logan on the mound, and just the seniors as a whole was huge. We had a solid defense behind us. It was a total, full team effort. I'm really looking forward to continuing to build off of that. We now want to go into tomorrow being consistent game-to-game now.
"Marianna [Politis] did an amazing job behind the plate. She did a good job framing pitches and was able to come play a position where she hasn't seen a lot of time. I know there's a lot of potential that I'm seeing from her going into the rest of the season."
KEY MOMENT (Gm 1)
- Leading 3-2 in the seventh inning, the Bulldogs scored an insurance run after senior Rachel Monroe (Southwick, Mass.) reached on an error and scored sophomore Helaina Michaud (Phoenixville, Pa.) to double the Bryant lead and make it a 4-2 game. The next batter, freshman Sabrina Crane (Newtown, Pa.), reached on an infield single and plated senior Robyn Ukegawa (Carlsbad, Calif.).
HOW IT HAPPENED (Gm 1)
- The Rams got on the board in the first inning after a bases-loaded walk scored the games' first run.
- The Bulldogs got on the board in the fourth inning. Monroe doubled with one out in the inning, advancing to third on an error by the Fordham defense. The senior scored when sophomore Tiffany Bell (Egg Harbor City, N.J.) singled to left-center field.
- Fordham answered back in the home half of the inning. Pitcher Lauren Quense reached via walk and advanced to third after a miscue by the Black and Gold. She crossed home one batter on a ball hit to first base.
- The Bulldogs plated three in the seventh inning to secure the lead. Sophomore Gabrielle Ermish (Pottstown, Pa.) doubled to left field to score junior Kaleigh Goulart (Marion, Mass.) from second base. Monroe then reached on an error to jumpstart the rally.
STATS (Gm 1)
- Freshman pitcher Sarah McKeveny (Bohemia, N.Y.) dazzled in her start. McKeveny threw 5.1 innings, struck out six batters and allowed just two hits and two runs (one earned).
- Redshirt junior Logan Paul (Shaker Heights, Ohio) came into the game in relief of McKeveny, throwing 1.2 innings, striking out one and allowing one run. She earned her second win of the season.
- Bryant hit a season-best three doubles against Fordham. Ermish, Ukegawa and Monroe each had two-baggers for the Bulldogs.
KEY MOMENT (Gm 2)
- With one out in the fourth inning, Kailee Smith hit a home run to give Drake a 7-0 lead. The visiting Bulldogs scored six more runs in the inning.
HOW IT HAPPENED (Gm 2)
- Drake got on the board in the first inning on a two-out single from Sarah Maddox.
- Behind four hits, Drake scored four runs in the second inning to take a 6-0 lead over the Black and Gold, capped off with a Smith single.
- Drake exploded in the sixth for seven runs, including two homers.
STATS (Gm 2)
- Monroe recorded Bryant's only hit of the afternoon, a single into right-center field.
- Freshmen Kolby Deziel (Pasadena, Calif.) and Morgan Powell (Murrieta, Calif.) each reached via walk from the leadoff spot.
- The win over Fordham was the team's first over the Rams in program history. They are now 1-2 all-time against the Fordham.
- Drake moves to 1-0 all-time versus Bryant as the teams met for the first time on Friday.
- In the second game, sophomore Marianna Politis (Arcadia, Calif.) made her career debut at catcher.
Bryant next plays the host of the tournament, South Florida, Saturday at 11:15 a.m. Depending on seeding, they will also play at either 2 or 4:15 p.m. before ending the tournament on Sunday.