Mable, Martin help Bulldogs split Saturday afternoon vs. Yale
SMITHFIELD, R.I. – After cruising to a 12-0 victory in the early game, the Bryant University softball team had the tying run 60 feet away with two outs in the bottom of the eighth, but visiting Yale University managed to hold on for the afternoon split, as Bryant fell, 9-8, in extra innings in the second game of a doubleheader.
The Bulldogs (5-14) ended a four-game losing streak in emphatic fashion, as sophomore Aubrey Mable (Aurora, Colo.) enjoyed one of her finest performances in Game 1 thanks to two home runs – including a grand slam – and a career-high eight RBI to lead Bryant over Yale (6-10) in a five-inning, mercy rule win.
But the visitors did not go quietly in the second contest, as Yale scored in every inning except one – including a tying run in the top of the sixth to send the game to extras – before winning it with three runs in the eighth.
Bryant nearly answered in the bottom of the eighth but a sharp liner to the third baseman with the tying run at third ended the rally for the Bulldogs, as Yale escaped with the one-run, extra-inning win.
Senior outfielder Lindsay Martin (Methuen, Mass.) provided the offensive heroics in the second game by virtue of her first home run of the season and side-high three RBI, while sophomore Taylor Bell (Yorktown Heights, N.Y.) went 2-for-4 with two runs scored and drove in two to lead the home team.
Junior hurler Jennifer Jacob (Deer Park, N.Y.) received both decisions on the afternoon after picking up the win in the opener. The righty totaled 7 2/3 innings on the day while yielding four hits and one earned run. Classmate Brittany Hart (North Andover, Mass.) went 5 1/3 innings in the second game before Jacob relieved her. Hart surrendered six runs and 11 hits while walking two.
In the opener, Mable came to the plate looking to give the Bulldogs an early spark and did just that by turning on a 2-2 pitch to send it well over the left field wall, giving the home side a 2-0 lead after the first inning.
The Bryant offense went right back to work in the second after sophomore Lauren Guy (La Habra, Calif.) connected with runners at first and third with a single through he right side to plate another run, extending the lead to 3-0.
But that was just the start of the inning for the Bulldogs, as Mable's huge afternoon continued when she came to the plate with the bases loaded and two outs. With the count full, Mable blasted a grand slam to right center to tack on four more runs, and the Bulldogs took a commanding 7-0 advantage after two innings.
After just missing out on an RBI opportunity in the second, Bell ripped her second straight double to deep center in the bottom of the third, and senior Lauren McCart (Voorhees, N.J.) used her speed to score all the way from first to push the lead to eight.
Two batters later, Guy snuck a double down the right field line to add to the lead before Mable lofted a deep shot to left that fell beyond the reach of the outfielder, as the sophomore's stellar day continued with a two-RBI triple. Before the inning was over, freshman Madeline Velasquez (Los Angeles, Calif.) brought home Mable on a two-out double to center, making it a 12-0 Bryant lead entering the fourth.
That 12-run margin proved to be too much for Yale to rally from, as Jacob yielded nothing in the top of the fourth and fifth innings before the game ended due to the eight-inning mercy rule.
Jacob picked up her third win of the season by virtue of her three-hit outing. The junior faced only 18 batters and yielded just one walk.
Determined not to fall behind early in the second game, Yale hopped out to a one-run lead in the top of the first. Leadoff hitter Jennifer Ong roped a single into left to start if off and came into score on a double off the bat of Sarah Onorato to put Yale ahead, 1-0, to start.
After keeping the home team off the board in the bottom of the first, Yale came right back out with another run in the top of the second. Meg Johnson singled up the middle to start things off before Kelsey Warkentine reached on a one-out walk. After a fielder's choice erased the lead runner, Ong came through with an RBI single to increase the visitors' edge to 2-0.
But the Bulldogs responded in the bottom half of the inning to tie the game on three hits, including a two-RBI double to deep center off the bat of Martin to draw even. Bell led off the inning with a base hit up the middle before junior Talia Zizza (Reading, Mass.) connected with two outs on a bloop single to keep the rally going. That set up Martin, who nailed her sixth double of the season to tie the match.
Yale continued its resiliency with another run in the third on a double off the bat of Johnson. Onorato provided the heroics for the visitors with a two-out double to take the lead back, making it 3-2 after two and a half innings.
The back-and-forth affair continued in the home half of the third inning, as the Bulldogs promptly responded with three runs to take a 5-3 lead. Senior Laura Bowen (Hudson, Mass.) led off the inning with a double to left center before Velasquez reached on an error. That set up Bell, who lined a two-RBI double to left center to score a pair. After moving over to third, Bell eventually came in on a sacrifice fly to complete the scoring.
Each team exchanged runs in the fourth. Yale scratched one across after Onorato reached on a single up the middle before a run would eventually score on a fielder's choice during the same play. In the bottom half of the frame, Martin answered with her first home run of the year – a solo shot to straightaway center – to keep the Bulldogs ahead by a 6-4 margin.
But Yale tied the game again after putting up a run in back-to-back innings. In the fifth, Johnson made it a one-run game after smashing a homer to left, and in the sixth the visitors drew even after Hart allowed consecutive hits before a run came in on a wild pitch. After entering the game in a relief role, Jacob induced a groundout and struck out the next batter to end the inning.
After neither side would score in the seventh, the game went to extras where Yale wasted no time in tacking on a three-run lead. With a runner at second due to the tiebreaker rule, Yale managed to score once on a fielder's choice before Christy Nelson singled to center to drive in two more runs, giving the visitors a 9-6 lead headed to the bottom of the eighth.
In the home half of the frame, Bryant quickly scored once on a pinch-hit single by sophomore Amy Weinberg (Pleasant Valley, N.Y.) to bring in McCart, who started the inning at second. Representing the tying run, Zizza then singled through the left side to get the tying run on base. But the Bulldogs could only drive in one more run before Bowen ripped a shot that was snagged on the line drive by the third baseman to end the game.
The Bulldogs return to action on Tuesday when they travel to Cambridge, Mass., to battle Harvard University on the road. First pitch is set for 4 p.m.