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March 20, 2012

Softball faces UConn at home Tuesday

Bulldogs battle UConn Tuesday afternoon to begin four-game homestand

SMITHFIELD, R.I. – The Bryant University softball team will open a four-game homestand against a trio of regional foes on Tuesday (March 20) afternoon, as the Bulldogs battle the University of Connecticut at 3:30 p.m. in a game that will be broadcast later this week on Cox Sports.

Entering the week with a 4-11 overall record, the Bulldogs most recently completed a 10-game tournament stint in Florida last week, as Bryant participated in the Florida Rebel Games and USF Tournament from March 11-18 and went 4-6 during that span.

Both teams have faced off four times previously, as Connecticut holds a 3-1 edge in the all-time series. Bryant picked up a 1-0 victory back during their inaugural season competing at the Division I level, but the Huskies have won both matches played in the previous two seasons. In 2011, Bryant fell, 7-3, to UConn on April, 26 in Storrs, Conn.

During their stay in the Sunshine State, the Bulldogs picked up wins against Lafayette, St. Peter's, Maryland and Canisius. The upset victory against the Terapins marked the second time that Bryant has knocked off an ACC squad during the span of the year after the Bulldogs downed Boston College in 2011.

Freshman Madeline Velasquez (Los Angeles, Calif.) led the team during tournament play with a .435 batting average and a .652 slugging percentage while going 10-for-23 from the dish. The rookie outfielder recorded two doubles and ripped her first collegiate homer – a three-run jack – during the Bulldogs' 7-3 victory against Canisius.

The Huskies (6-10) will also be participating in their first game in the New England region after opening up the 2012 campaign with four tournaments and most recently went 2-2 in the Hofstra Tournament over the weekend. UConn swept two games against Maine but fell twice against host Hofstra.

Senior Amy Vaughan leads the UConn offense with a .426 batting average and also boasts the most power from the plate, as the outfielder has smashed a team-high eight homers while driving in a side-high 22 runners and totaling 49 bases this season – good for a team-leading 1.043 slugging percentage. Redshirt junior Marissa Guches ranks second on the squad with a .326 average from the plate, while senior Jennifer Ward leads the team with nine stolen bags and has been thrown out just once.

Junior Kiki Saveriano has started a team-high nine games while totaling 50.1 innings, and the righty has logged a 3.89 ERA while posting a 4-5 record. She has recorded five complete games and has struck out 41 while issuing just 17 walks this season. Righty Lauren Duggan currently sports a 3.59 ERA in six appearances (five starts) while tossing 25.1 innings of work.

Today's game will be broadcast later this week on Cox Sports. The first broadcast can be seen on Friday (March 23) at 7 p.m., while the second airing will occur Saturday (March 24) afternoon at 2 p.m.

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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