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March 12, 2012

Bulldogs split in Day 2 of Rebel Games

Bulldogs take win against Saint Peter's, fall vs. Cleveland State in Day 2 of Rebel Games

KISSIMMEE, Fla. – The Bryant University softball team registered an afternoon split against a pair of opponents during its second day of Rebel Spring Game action, as the Bulldogs eased by Saint Peter's College, 7-3, after suffering a 4-3 setback against Cleveland State on Monday at Oren Brown Park.

The Bulldogs (2-6) nearly were in position to take both games, but the Vikings (3-16) rallied with a pair of runs in back-to-back innings to spoil Bryant's first game of the day. In the second contest, the Bulldogs rebounded after falling behind by a run early before eventually prevailing by four runs against the Peahens (0-9) to finish up a busy afternoon.

Senior second baseman Laura Bowen (Hudson, Mass.) paced the Bulldogs on Monday, as the Massachusetts native led the team with three hits (one double) and scored twice while also driving in a run. Classmate Lindsay Martin (Methuen, Mass.) managed a pair of hits in five at-bats while also scoring twice, while juniors Kate Murray (Fitchburg, Mass.) and Christina Eringis (Tewksbury, Mass.) each drove in two runs, while the latter scored once and notched a double.

Juniors Brittany Hart (North Andover, Mass.) and Jennifer Jacob (Deer Park, N.Y.) each earned starts on the day, and both went the distance in their respective outings. Jacob suffered the tough-luck loss against Cleveland State while allowing eight hits against 33 batters, while Hart notched her second win in as many days by virtue of a six-hit, two-strikeout performance against Saint Peter's.

In the first game, Bryant built a 2-0 lead heading into the fifth inning against the Vikings after a pair of errors in the first allowed Bowen to score before sophomore Aubrey Mable (Aurora, Colo.) drove in Martin in the third with an RBI single. But CSU drew even in the fifth after loading the bases, and a single and a fielder's choice later, the score was all even at 2-2.

The Bulldogs temporarily retook the lead in the top half of the sixth, as Martin led it off with a sharp double to right center before being sacrificed over to third. Shortly after, it was Mable delivering the goods again as the shortstop ripped an RBI single to center to hand the Black and Gold a one-run lead (3-2).

But the Vikings quickly stormed back with some help from the long ball, as Cynthia Woodard blasted a two-run homer to left center to put Cleveland State ahead, 4-3. Unfortunately for Bryant, that score would not change, as Sara Shields came in from the bullpen and shut down the Bulldogs over three innings of work to earn the victory for the Vikings.

After a quick break, Bryant went right back at it against Saint Peter's and promptly took advantage of some sloppy defense in the top of the first to go ahead by a 1-0 score. But the Peahens greeted Hart with three hits – including a two-RBI double from Krystine Rice – as Saint Peter's took a 2-1 lead.

Bryant would quickly answer with a run in the second before taking the lead for good with a pair in the top of the third to move ahead, 4-2. With the score tied and runners at second and third, Eringis smoked a two-RBI double to center field to boost the Bulldogs in front. The Peahens got one back in the bottom half of the inning, but that accounted for the final run of the day scored by Saint Peter's.

Bryant garnered one more run in the fourth on an RBI single up the middle off the bat of Bowen, and Murray delivered with a two-RBI base hit with runners at second and third to push the Bulldogs in front by four runs, 7-3. From that point on, Hart and the Bryant defense took over, as no other Saint Peter's batter advanced beyond first through the remainder of the game, as the Bulldogs held on for the victory.

The Black and Gold return to action tomorrow with two final contests in the Rebel Spring Games. First, the Bulldogs take on Wisconsin-Green Bay at 11 a.m. before facing Fairfield in a newly scheduled game to make up for the contests that were rained out on Sunday. Bryant will battle the Stags at 5 p.m. in a late-afternoon affair.

For continuing coverage of Bryant University softball, check back online at www.bryantbulldogs.com; also follow the Bulldogs on Twitter @BryantAthletics.

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