Bryant Softball Sweeps Doubleheader Away From Wagner
Bryant University Press Release
SMITHFIELD, R.I. – Behind a five-hit day from senior outfielder Kristen Carter (Branchville, N.J.), the Bryant University softball team picked up the doubleheader sweep, topping Wagner, 6-4, in Game 1, and 6-2 Game 2, Saturday afternoon at Conaty Park.
The Bulldogs (16-13, 3-1 Northeast Conference) are now winners of 11 of their last 14, including four-straight this week while the Seahawks (13-15, 0-2 NEC) drop their first conference doubleheader of the 2014 season.
“Behind solid pitching from Elle [Madsen] and Katie [Saunders] and solid defense, the entire lineup did what they needed to do to shut Wagner down and gain momentum heading into Sunday,” said Bryant head coach Shayne Lotito.
In Game 1, Wagner wasted little time jumping on Bryant starter Elle Madsen (Wheat Ridge, Colo.), putting up three runs in the top of the first inning highlighted by a Brenda Bott two-run homerun.
In the bottom of the first, the Black and Gold started to chip away at the deficit with a Madsen RBI double to right center, scoring senior catcher Kendall Corder (Carmichael, Calif.) who led off the inning with a walk. One inning later, The Bulldogs pushed another run across to cut the Wagner lead to just one, 3-2, when sophomore Hayley Bottino (Canyon Country, Calif.) scored on a Corder ground out to second base.
In the top of the third, the Seahawks tacked on an insurance run thanks to Bott RBI single, but the Bulldogs responded in a huge way, rallying for four runs in the bottom half of the inning. Madsen got things started drawing a one-out walk to spark the run. Two batters later, freshman Taylor Burger (Killingworth, Conn.) laced a two-out single down the left field line to put runners on first and second, setting up back-to-back RBI singles from Bottino and Carter to knot the score, 4-4, with runners on the corners. Sophomore second baseman Liana Ogata (Tustin, Calif.) then stepped up a ripped a two-run triple which rolled all the way to the wall in right center, pushing Bryant to a 6-4 advantage after three.
Madsen took care of the rest for the Black and Gold, allowing just three Seahawk hits in the final four innings en route to her 10th victory of the year. In all, Madsen allowed four runs on eight hits and one walk in seven innings of work to go along with nine strikeouts.
Carter led the way offensively, going 3-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored, while Ogata added a pair of base knocks and two RBI.
“Our lefty 1-2 punch [Carter and Ogata] picked up the offense in Game 1 and sparked the lineup to answer Wagner's early push,” added Lotito.
In the second leg of the doubleheader, the Bulldogs put together yet another come-from-behind victory en route to a dominant 6-2 win.
Junior outfielder Madeline Velasquez (Los Angeles, Calif.) led the way with a trio of base hits to go along with two RBI, while Madsen was money in relief, allowing just three hits in four innings out of the bullpen.
After a two and a half scoreless innings, the Black and Gold struck first in the bottom of the third after a Carter leadoff triple set up an RBI base hit for Ogata, pushing the Bulldogs to an early 1-0 lead. However, Wagner responded in the next half inning, taking the lead on an Abby Beasley two-run single through the right side.
Finding themselves down 2-1 after four and a half innings, Bryant took advantage of a pair of Seahawk miscues in the bottom of the fifth to regain the edge, 3-2 after five. The Bulldogs would go on to add three more in the bottom of the sixth behind an RBI single from Velasquez and a two-run double by Madsen, pushing Bryant to the eventual 6-2 win.
Sophomore Katelin Saunders (Laguna Niguel, Calif.) allowed two runs on five hits in three innings in her 12th start of the year, while Madsen picked up the win in relief, not allowing a run in four innings of work.
In addition to Velasquez's three knocks, senior shortstop Aubrey Mable (Aurora, Colo.), Madsen and Carter each had two hits in Game 2. Carter also extended her team-leading hit streak to eight games and is hitting a team-best .476 over the last seven contests.
“Maddi [Velasquez] did a great job leading our lineup in Game 2 with 1-9 following suit with the entire lineup displaying all-around execution in every aspect of the game,” stated Lotito. “This type of play will continue to make us successful going forward.”
Looking ahead, the Bulldogs will welcome a very talented LIU Brooklyn team to Smithfield on Sunday for a doubleheader at 12 and 2 p.m.
For links to live stats and streaming video of Sunday's action and all the latest news on Bryant Athletics, visit BryantBulldogs.com.