SMITHFIELD, R.I. – During opening day, the Bryant University softball team split with Saint Francis U, giving the Red Flash their first conference loss since 2016. The Bulldogs took game one, 7-3, before dropping game two, 5-4.
Bryant 7, Saint Francis 3
Saint Francis U 5, Bryant 4
Location: Conaty Park (Smithfield, R.I.)
W|L|S: Gabrielle Ermish (W, 2-8) | M. Uncapher (L, 5-4)
W|L|S: M. Bower (W, 4-8) | C. Clark (S, 2) | Sarah McKeveny (L, 2-9)
COACH FRENCH'S COMMENTS
"It was a great day and we had awesome fan support that lifted us, especially early in the first game," said head coach Nick French. "Timely hitting and great defense sparked us in game one. Hopefully we can keep that going all year."
KEY MOMENT GM1
- Bryant took the lead early in the first inning when Nicole Zukowski (Medford, N.Y.) hit a triple to bring in the first three runs. Carlylyn Hernandez (Cypress, Calif.) brought Zukowski home with a ground out to make the score, 4-0, before the second inning.
HOW IT HAPPENED GM1
- Tiffany Bell (Egg Harbor City, N.J.) and Morgan Powell (Murrieta, Calif.) led off the first inning with a pair of singles before stealing an extra base. After Kaleigh Goulart filled the bases with a walk, Zukowski smacked the ball into right center for a triple, bringing in all three runners, 3-0.
- The Bulldogs continued to score in the first inning as Hernandez grounded out to the first basemen to bring in Zukowski giving Bryant a four-run cushion.
- In the bottom of the third, Powell singled to get on base before Goulart crushed the ball over the left field fence for a two-run homer, 6-0.
- A pair of singles put the Red Flash on base in the top half of the fourth inning. Saint Francis U then moved into scoring position after a ground out, followed by a single to left field to bring in the first two runs for the Red Flash, 6-2.
- Saint Francis scored its final run with a solo home run over the left field fence, 6-3.
- Goulart was quick around the bases in the bottom of the fifth, putting herself into scoring position. Gabrielle Ermish (Pottstown, Pa.) notched a single into right field to bring in the final run, 7-3.
- Goulart led the Bulldogs batting a perfect two-for-two with a home run, two RBIs, and three runs scored.
- Both Powell and Ermish went two-for-three at the plate as Ermish tallied an RBI and Powell scored two runs.
- Jessica Gradillas (Nogales, Ariz.) and Zukowski each batted one-for-three. Zukowski tallied one triple that brought in three runs.
- Bell compiled one hit to lead off the game during four plate appearances. She also scored one run.
- Hernandez produced one run.
- Ermish tossed four innings giving up six hits and one walk.
- Colby Norris (Toano, Va.) was in the circle for three innings letting up just one hit and one earned run.
KEY MOMENT GM2
- After grabbing an early two-run lead in the second inning, the Red Flash added three more runs with a home run and a double to give them just enough offense to take game two.
HOW IT HAPPENED GM2
- Saint Francis U got on the board first in the second inning. A double and a walk put runners on second and third. Sierra McKee singled through the left side to bring both runners home, 2-0.
- Sabrina Crane (Newtown, Pa.) and Bell led off the third inning with a pair of singles. Powell then hit a ground ball to the shortstop to bring Crane in before the end of the inning, 2-1.
- The Red Flash hit a two-run homer to start the sixth inning before capping the inning off with a double to bring in one more run, 5-1.
- The Bulldogs pulled within one in the bottom of the sixth when Gradillas hit a three-run bomb over left center, 5-4.
- Powell led in game two, batting three-for-four producing one run.
- Freshman Toni Camarillo (Corona, Calif.) went two-for-three in game two.
- Bell also notched a pair of hits during four plate appearances.
- Crane and Zukowski both batted one-for-two scoring one run apiece.
- Gradillas was one-for-four in game two with her lone hit being a home run that brought in three runs.
- Junior Marianna Politis (Arcadia, Calif.) was one-for-three in the second game of the day.
- Sarah McKeveny (Bohemia, N.Y.) got the loss pitching three innings accumulating two strikeouts, four walks, three hits, and two earned runs.
- Norris relieved McKeveny during the last four innings giving up three walks, three hits and three earned runs.
- The Bulldogs outhit Saint Francis U, 12-6.
- Bryant gave Saint Francis U its first conference loss since 2016. The Bulldogs have yet to beat the Red Flash since April of 2015.
- Zukowski now leads the Bulldogs with two triples so far this season.
- Goulart notched her second home run of the season.
- Ermish appeared at the plate for the first time this season during game one, compiling her first pair of hits and RBI of the season.
- Gradillas hit her first home run of the season.
- Bryant remains tied with the Red Flash in the all-time series at ten apiece.
Bryant remains in Smithfield as they host Robert Morris in a NEC doubleheader beginning at an earlier time than originally scheduled due to predicted weather. Game one will be set for 10 a.m.