With Snow Falling Bryant Softball falls To Providence

Bryant drops heartbreaker against Providence, 5-4, Wednesday afternoon

Providence, R.I. – Senior third baseman Regina Burdo (Wayne, Pa.) punched a RBI single up the middle of the diamond in the top of the sixth to tie the score, 4-4, but that is as close as the Bryant University softball team would get, as the Bulldogs dropped a 5-4 decision to Providence College Wednesday afternoon in Providence, R.I.

With snow flurries falling on the diamond all afternoon, the Bulldogs (5-11) would battle back in the cold to even the score in the sixth inning after being down by two runs, but could not convert on the late opportunities, snapping the team's three-game winning streak.

Both Bryant and Providence (8-15) recorded six hits, respectively, but the visiting Bulldogs left seven runners on base compared to just four for the Friars.

The Bryant lineup came out strong from the start, as the team sprayed the ball all over the field in the top of the first frame. Lauren Guy (La Habra, Calif.) reached base on a catcher interference call and advanced to third after Aubrey Mable (Aurora, Colo.) hit a frozen rope to right field to put runners on the corners with just one out.

Kendall Corder (Carmichael, Calif.) would then step up to the plate and lay down a textbook squeeze bunt, bringing home the runner and moving Mable over to third. Freshman first baseman Amy Weinberg (Pleasant Valley, N.Y.) would drive home Mable on a single, giving the Bulldogs and starting pitcher Samantha Houseal (Mount Joy, Pa.) an early 2-0 lead.

The Friars would respond with the long ball, as Jessie Bryant belted a two-run homer over the wall in center field to tie things at the end of the first, 2-2.

Providence would record back-to-back homers to lead off the third inning to put the hosts up 4-2 while Friar's pitcher Corinne Clauss retired the side over the next three innings to keep the lead at two entering the fifth frame.

Junior Laura Bowen (Hudson, Mass.) finally broke through for the Black and Gold in the top half of the fifth with a solo shot over the right field fence, cutting the lead to 4-3. Bowen's homer was her third of the season, as the Massachusetts native now has two home runs in the last three outings.

Weinberg would come up in the clutch once again for Bryant in the top of the sixth, as the New York native hit a bouncing grounder off the second baseman's glove and into the outfield to reach first. With Corder already at second and Weinberg on base, Kate Murray (Fitchburg, Mass.) laid down a sacrifice bunt that allowed both runners to advance. With two on and one out, Burdo sent a pitch back up the middle through the gap, bringing home Corder, to even up the score, 4-4.

In the bottom half of the frame, Providence was awarded a base runner on an illegal pitch, and that's all the Friars needed as Stephanie Kiesel belted a RBI double to centerfield for the 5-4 lead.

Bryant would attempt one last rally in the final inning, with Mable hitting a two-out double to left centerfield. Mable would eventually move her way over to third on a passed ball and Corder would reach base on walks, but the Friars were able to close the door on the inning and hold on for the 5-4 victory.

Houseal would go 6.0 innings in the circle, allowing just six hits and five runs against 27 batters. The Pennsylvania native struck out three and issued just four walks in the afternoon.

The Bulldogs return to action Thursday, March 24 for the 2011 home opener against Harvard University. First pitch of the doubleheader is scheduled for 3 p.m. and fans can follow live stats at www.bryantbulldogs.comand watch every minute of action at www.bryantbulldogs.tv.