SMITHFIELD, R.I. – The Bryant University softball team went into extra innings with UMass Lowell on Wednesday afternoon. The Bulldogs fell in the eighth inning, 7-6.
UMass Lowell 7, Bryant 6
Location: Conaty Park (Smithfield, R.I.)
W|L|S: Kaysee Talcik (W, 4-5) | Sarah McKeveny (L, 2-10)
COACH FRENCH'S COMMENTS
"We made some mistakes that ultimately were costly, but I'm proud of how we came back to tie the game in the 7th, and we almost did it again in the 8th. This group of kids never quit and that's what will get us to where we need to be in the conference."
- After the River Hawks tied the game twice, Bryant took the lead in the bottom of the fifth when Morgan Powell (Murrieta, Calif.) ran home during a wild pitch, followed by an RBI-double to left center to give the Bulldogs a two-run cushion.
- Bryant tied the game in the bottom of the seventh when Jessica Gradillas (Nogales, Ariz.) was just shy of a home run, hitting the right field fence, to bring the game into extra innings.
- The River Hawks brought in the winning run with an RBI-double before giving themselves a cushion with a hard hit ball to Gradillas at third base to take a two-run lead.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Bryant got on the board first to start the game. Powell hit a leadoff single right up the middle of the field and was moved to second on a wild pitch. Gianna Ceccarelli (Claremont, Calif.) also sent it up the middle, advancing to second on the throw, moving Powell into scoring position. UMass Lowell threw another wild pitch, sending Powell straight home, 1-0.
- After the River Hawks got on base with a walk, Sydney Barker stole second before being brought home with an RBI-single to tie the game, 1-1.
- Powell smacked a double to left field and moved into scoring position after a wild pitch. The Bulldogs regained the lead when Gradillas hit and RBI-double, that landed fair down the left field line, 2-1.
- The River Hawks hit a hard ball at Sarah McKeveny (Bohemia, N.Y.) in the circle resulting in a base hit, to put runners on first and third. Colby Norris (Toano, Va.) immediately came in to relieve McKeveny and threw a pitch that got past Alex Hickey (St. John, Ind.) behind the plate. UMass Lowell took advantage of the passed ball to score its lone run of the fifth inning, 2-2.
- Bryant responded in the bottom half of the fifth inning with Powell on third and Ceccarelli on first. The River Hawks threw yet another wild pitch to send Powell scampering down the third base line for the run before Gradillas found the gap in left center to score Ceccarelli, 4-2.
- After a scoreless sixth inning for both teams, the River Hawks made a comeback in the seventh inning. With a runner in scoring position and two outs, Lowell hit a long line drive to right field to get within one. Casey Harding for the River Hawks then hit a high pop up to left field that the Bulldogs were not able to catch, bringing in the tying run. UMass Lowell kept it going by taking the lead with a double to right center. Bryant bobbled the ball, giving UMass Lowell the green light to come home and take the lead, 5-4.
- Powell notched a base hit before Ceccarelli grounded out, moving Powell to second. Gradillas brought Powell home for another tying run with a long ball to the right field fence, 5-5.
- A pair of singles put UMass Lowell on first and second to start the eighth inning. Barker brought in one run with a double to left before Harding's hard hit ball to third base scored the game-winning run, 7-5.
- Bryant tried to make a comeback in the bottom of the eighth but came up short after Gabrielle Ermish (Pottstown, Pa.) doubled to the left field gap to bring in Kaleigh Goulart (Marion, Mass.), 7-6. The Bulldogs had a glimpse of hope when Dakota Bilodeau (Milford, N.H.) pinch ran for Ermish and moved to third on a passed ball, but Powell's line drive was picked off by the short stop to end the game.
- Powell led the Black and Gold batting four-for-five on the day with four runs score and two doubles.
- Gradillas also added a pair of doubles and a base hit during four plate appearances. The senior produced a game-high of three runs.
- Ceccarelli also showed a strong offensive game batting two-of-three with one run scored and one walk.
- Goulart and Ermish tallied the only other hits for the Bulldogs during the eighth inning. Both players came in to pinch hit during extra innings, and tallied one double apiece in their only plate appearances.
- McKeveny pitched the first 4.2 innings, compiling four strikeouts, four walks, and one earned run.
- Norris tossed the final 3.1 innings of the game, striking out one, walking one and giving up nine hits.
- UMass Lowell outhit the Bulldogs, 14-11.
- Gradillas tied her career-best of 3 RBIs. The last time she produced three runs was last season at Hartford.
- Powell doubled her career-best with four hits and four runs scored.
- Ceccarelli also tied her career-best of two hits in a single game after hitting two at Wagner last season.
- Bryant is now 0-3 when playing in extra innings this season, falling to Marist and Belmont earlier this season.
Bryant returns to conference play on Sunday, April 7 when the Bulldogs travel to Staten Island to take on Wagner at 1 and 3 p.m.