TAMPA, Fla. – The Bryant University softball team topped the University of South Florida, 8-4, before falling to Drake University, 8-0, on the second day of the USF Tournament in Tampa.
Bryant 8, USF 4 (Gm 1)
Drake 8, Bryant 0 (Gm 2)
Records: Bryant (2-4), USF (7-9), Drake (9-3)
Location: USF Softball Stadium (Tampa, Fla.)
COACH LOTITO'S COMMENTS
"Gabi [Ermish] did a great job for us," Bryant head coach Shayne Lotito said. "She really controlled the game from the mound and worked ahead of batters consistently. She was a force when it came to leading her team.
"Our defense behind her had a solid day. We had a few double plays to get out of some big innings which helps when you're on the mound and can trust the defense behind you.
"Our offense came out aggressive, scoring runs early in the game. It was great to see Dakota [Bilodeau] and Alex [Hickey] continue to hit well and get some long balls. One through nine, we put together great at-bats and put pressure on USF all game.
"We're just continuing to find ourselves and what works. We're working to get consistent game to game. We're still working on that aspect of our team."
KEY MOMENT (Gm 1)
- In the top half of the first inning, freshman Alex Hickey (St. John, Ind.) homered to let the Bulldogs jump in front, 3-0. Hickey drove in classmate Morgan Powell (Murrieta, Calif.) and junior Kaleigh Goulart (Marion, Mass.), as well as herself.
HOW IT HAPPENED (Gm 1)
- Bryant scored another run in the inning after sophomore Marianna Politis (Arcadia, Calif.) singled to third base to score classmate Gabrielle Ermish (Pottstown, Pa.) and give the Bulldogs a 4-0 lead.
- USF narrowed the gap in the home half of the second inning when Samantha Worrell hit a two-out long ball to cut the Bulldog lead in half. The Bulls' Morgan Gross doubled later in the inning, scoring a runner and cutting the lead to 4-3.
- Bryant would get one of those runs back in the third, after freshman Dakota Bilodeau (Milford, N.H.) doubled to score Robyn Ukegawa (Carlsbad, Calif.) from second.
- Ukegawa would double to drive in Goulart and extend the Bulldog lead to 6-3 after Goulart reached on an infield single to lead off the inning.
- After a sacrifice fly from USF brought USF a run closer, Bilodeau homered in the fifth inning for her second long ball of the season.
- The scoring came to a close when Politis singled to left field to score sophomore Nicole Davis (Toms River, N.J.), who pinch-ran for Ermish after a single.
STATS (Gm 1)
- Goulart went 3-for-5 and scored two runs in game one.
- Ukegawa, Politis, and Bilodeau each had two hits apiece against the Bulls.
- Ermish pitched the first Bryant complete game of the season. The sophomore allowed six hits, struck out one and allowed three earned runs.
KEY MOMENT (Gm 2)
- Already ahead 1-0, Drake scored two runs on an RBI double to left center from Kailee Smith.
HOW IT HAPPENED (Gm 2)
- Drake's first run came on a defensive miscue from the Bulldog defense.
- In the second inning, Smith doubled with the bases loaded to clear the bases and put Drake up 6-0.
- Sarah Maddox drove in the final two runs of the game: she doubled home a run in the second inning and scored Kelsey Wright from second base in the fourth inning via a single to right center.
STATS (Gm 2)
- Hickey singled in the first inning for the first Bryant hit of the afternoon.
- Senior Gianna Pizzano (Saugus, Mass.) and Powell also recorded hits for the Bulldogs.
- Bryant is now 1-0 all-time against USF, as Saturday was the first-ever meeting between the two schools.
- Drake moves to 2-0 against Bryant. They met for the first time ever on Friday.
- Goulart's three hits in game one tied a career high. She also had three hits against Loyola Marymount on March 10 of last season.
- Hickey had hits in both games on Saturday and has hit safely in five of her seven games played.
Bryant will take on USF again Sunday at 11:15 a.m. to close out the USF Tournament.