SMITHFIELD, R.I. – The Bryant University softball team swept a Northeast Conference doubleheader from Robert Morris on Saturday afternoon, winning game one 7-6 in eight innings before completing the sweep with a 5-3 win in game two.
After the Colonials scored three times in the bottom of the seventh to tie game one, senior Robyn Ukegawa (Carlsbad, Calif.) delivered the game-winning single in the top of the eighth. The Bulldogs then built a lead in game two and junior Colby Norris (Toano, Va.) did the rest, spinning three scoreless innings of relief to close the door.
Bryant 7, Robert Morris 6 (8 innings)
Bryant 5, Robert Morris 3
Records: Bryant (12-23, 6-4 NEC) | Robert Morris (10-28, 1-7)
Location: North Athletic Complex (Moon Township, Pa.)
W|L : Logan Paul (5-3) | Laura Coulter (2-7)
Coach Lotito's Comments
"Today was a lot more of what we have been executing in the month of April. We are expecting to bring the same energy to the final. I think we have save our best tennis for Sunday. Looking forward to the battle."
Key Moment (Game 1)
- With the score tied 6-6 in the eighth, Ukegawa delivered a pinch-hit RBI single to give Bryant the 7-6 lead.
How it happened (Game 1)
- Bryant got on the board with two runs in the first. Freshman Morgan Powell (Murrieta, Calif.) and junior Kaleigh Goulart (Marion, Mass.) opened the game with singles, performed a double steal and both came around to score. Senior Rachel Monroe (Southwick, Mass.) scored Powell with a ground out and junior Jessica Gradillas (Nogales, Ariz.) made it 2-0 with a single.
- RMU quickly tied it on a two-out, two-run double from Taryn Miller in the bottom of the first.
- The Bulldogs regained the lead with two runs in the top of the fifth. Powell and Goulart both reached again and both came around to score again. Gradillas delivered another RBI single and Goulart scored on a fielding error.
- The Colonials answered with a sac fly in the bottom of the inning to make it 4-3.
- Bryant added two more runs in the following inning as sophomore Marianna Politis (Arcadia, Calif.) led off the sixth inning with a home run to left field and Goulart scored Powell with a two-out double to center.
- In the seventh, RMU rallied to tie the game with three runs. A walk and a double opened the inning but the Bulldogs retired the next two batters. Natalie Higgins, however, delivered a two-run single and a two-out error scored the game-tying run two batters later.
- In the eighth, Politis drew a leadoff walk and pinch-runner Sabrina Crane (Newtown, Pa.) moved to third on a wild throw during a sac bunt. Ukegawa then pinch hit and scored Crane with a single to left field.
Stats (Game 1)
- Bryant scored multiple runs in the first, fifth and sixth to build a three-run lead into the seventh.
- Powell finished the game with a pair of hits and three runs scored.
- Gradillas finished with a pair of hits and RBI on the game.
- Gabrielle Ermish (Pottstown, Pa.) also had a two-hit opener.
- As a team, Bryant outhit Robert Morris 10-6.
- They only made two errors to the Colonials' four.
- Bryant stole five bases in the game.
Key Moment (Game 2)
- Freshman Dakota Bilodeau (Milford, N.H.) laced a two-run single to right, giving the Bulldogs a three-run lead in the third. They would keep their distance the rest of the way.
How it happened (Game 2)
- Ermish started the scoring with an RBI single up the middle.
- After Bilodeau made it 3-0, Abrielle McCartney cut the Bryant lead back down to one with a two-run single of her own.
- Gradillas added a Bryant run in the fifth with a home run to center.
- McCartney added her third RBI of the game on a groundout to second, allowing Kristen Pray to score.
- After Tiffany Bell (Egg Harbor City, N.J.) and Kolby Deziel (Pasadena, Calif.) drew back-to-back two-out walks, Monroe made the Colonials pitchers pay with an RBI single through the right side to increase Bryant's lead to 5-3.
Stats (Game 2)
- Monroe, Gradillas and Ermish were the power in the 3-4-5 portion of the lineup, going a combined 6-for-12 with three runs scored and three RBI.
- Bilodeau and Gianna Pizzano (Saugus, Mass.) added hits for the Bulldogs.
- Ermish went four strong innings for her third win of the season.
- Colby Norris (Toano, Va.) slammed the door with a three-inning save in which she allowed just one baserunner, via a walk.
- Powell extended her hitting streak to six games with two in Game 1.
- Bryant swept a Northeast Conference opponent for the first time this season after splits in the first four conference meetings.
- The Bulldogs snapped a seven-game losing streak to the Colonials with the two wins.
- Gradillas' long ball was the fourth of the season for her, while Politis added her first.
- With the win, Bryant improves to 6-4 in Northeast Conference play and sits a game up on Central Connecticut for the final spot in the postseason.
The Bulldogs finish their Pennsylvania swing when they take on Saint Francis U tomorrow, with the doubleheader starting at Noon. The Red Flash enter the day on an eight-game winning streak and 28-17 overall.