April 3, 2014

Softball Falls to Bryant in Extra Innings, 6-2

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Senior Kelsey Williams (Greenwood, Ind.) singled three times and junior pitcher Jessica Cherness (Torrance, Calif.) battled for 8.1 innings but Bryant assembled a four-run rally in the ninth to beat the Brown softball team, 6-2, in nine innings in non-league action on Thursday.

Williams delivered the game-tying base hit in the bottom of the eighth to keep the Bears (2-16) alive while Cherness scattered eight hits and struck out two, taking Brown into the top of the ninth. Freshman Christina Andrews (Southlake, Texas) and junior Trista Chavez (San Pedro, Calif.) each had two hits, with Chavez adding a sacrifice fly to plate Brown's first run in the fourth.

For Bryant (14-13), Hayley Bottino dealt on the mound for the 9.0-inning complete game victory, working around 10 hits while allowing one earned run and no walks. She struck out two, while Kendall Corder had three hits including a double and two RBI from the leadoff spot. Emily Bouthillette ripped what proved to be the game-winning single to lead off the ninth, scoring Bottino who was placed on second to start the frame.

Offense was hard to come by in the early going as both pitchers rolled through the opposing lineup. Bottino recorded the first nine outs on a mere 19 pitchers, 17 of which went for strikes, until Andrews led off the fourth with an infield single. A passed ball moved Andrews to second, senior Jen Kries (Mission Viejo, Calif.) reached on a blooper to center, and Williams singled to third to load the bases. Chavez then lifted a sac fly to center, plating Andrews to take a 1-0 lead.

The Bulldogs answered in the top of the fifth, starting with Liana Ogata's two-out single to left. Ogata stole second and came around on Corder's two-bagger to the wall, tying the game at 1-1.

Brown stranded runners in each of the next two innings and Cherness retired six of the next seven batters she faced to take the game to extras. Ogata started on second in the top of the eighth and a fielding miscue placed Bulldogs on the corners with no one out. A grounder made it second and third with one away and an error in the outfield brought Ogata in for the unearned go-ahead run. A walk left runners on first and second with two down and Bottino laced a searing liner to the left side, but Andrews was there to make the snag at third and end the threat.

Sophomore Janet Leung (Mississauga, Ontario) looked as though she'd be stranded on second after two quick outs to start the bottom of the eighth, but facing the loss, Williams ripped an RBI base hit to tie the game at 2-2. Chavez followed with a single to send runners to first and second put a groundout pushed the game to the ninth.

Bryant exploded for four runs in the ninth on three singles and a double to lift the Bulldogs to a 6-2 lead. Freshman Leah Nakashima (San Jose, Calif.) came on in relief and ended the inning on a popup and groundout, but the Bears went down in order in the bottom of the ninth to end the game.

Brown opens its Ivy League home slate on Saturday with a doubleheader against Cornell. First pitch is scheduled for 12:30 p.m.