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March 27, 2012

Softball faces Harvard Tuesday afternoon

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Bulldogs play first road regional game Tuesday at Harvard

SMITHFIELD, R.I. – Participating in its first road contest in the New England region this season, the Bryant University softball team travels to Cambridge, Mass., for a Tuesday (March 27) afternoon bout against Ivy League foe Harvard University. First pitch at Soldiers Field is slated for 4 p.m.

The Bulldogs (5-14) are coming off a weekend split against another Ivy League opponent, as Bryant cruised to a 12-0 victory against Yale in the first game of a scheduled doubleheader Saturday before dropping a 9-8, extra-innings decision in the late game.

Sophomore Aubrey Mable (Aurora, Colo.) had one of her finest outings as a Bulldog in Saturday's first contest. The shortstop went off for a career-high two home runs – including a grand slam – while plating an also-career-high eight runs in the Bulldogs' 12-run win over Yale. Mable also smacked her team-leading third triple of the season while scoring three runs in the Bulldog victory.

Senior Lindsay Martin (Methuen, Mass.) enjoyed a fine performance at the plate in Game 2, as the outfielder went 2-for-4 and cracked her first homer of the season to give the Bulldogs a two-run lead at that point in the game.

Junior Jennifer Jacob (Deer Park, N.Y.) earned the team's first shutout of the season by virtue of her strong performance in the opening game before coming in to relieve classmate Brittany Hart (North Andover, Mass.) later on in the afternoon.

On the offensive end, Mable continues to lead the Black and Gold with a .451 batting average. The sophomore has accumulated a team-high 23 hits while boasting team-highs in RBI (16), runs scored (15), slugging percentage (.745) and on-base percentage (.556). Classmate Lauren Guy (La Habra, Calif.) has also turned it on as of late and now ranks second on the squad with a .364 average from the dish. The sophomore poked two home runs last week against Boston University and now has driven in 10 runs and scored 13 times this season while garnering 20 hits – all of which rank second to only Mable.

The Crimson (12-6) has been led by strong pitching this season, as ace Rachel Brown enters Tuesday's game with a 7-2 record and 0.83 ERA. The reigning Ivy League Pitcher of the Year has struck out 88 batters in 67 2/3 innings of work, while walking 13 opponents.

The offense has been powered by senior Jane Alexander, who boasts a team-high .386 batting average by virtue of 22 hits. Sophomore Kasey Lange has provided all of Harvard's power by virtue of her three home runs, and she is the only Crimson player to go yard so far this season.  Lange also leads Harvard with 13 RBI.

Last weekend, Harvard split a four-game set on the road against Lehigh. The squads split a pair of games both days with Harvard taking the last contest, 1-0, in nine innings. Laura Ricciardone scattered eight hits in nine innings of work while striking out two and holding the Mountain Hawks scoreless. Shelbi Olson plated the Crimson's lone run of the game.

Both teams have faced each other four times. Harvard took both games back in the 2009 season, but the Bulldogs evened the series with a sweep against the Crimson in the 2011 campaign after a one-year hiatus between the regional foes.

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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