ATHENS, Ga. -- Belmont University Softball saw its early season three-game win streak snapped in its second game of the opening day of the Georgia Classic on a rainy Friday. The Bruins (5-2) used a walkoff double to push by Bryant (0-6), 3-2, into extra innings before behind held off, 7-0, by UMass (2-5) in game two.
After a silent first two innings of play, Belmont made the first move to put a run on the board. Sophomore Georgia McKee (Frisco, Texas) reached first courtesy of four balls before senior Taylor Hargrove (Greenbrier, Tenn.) came in to pinch run. Classmate Sami Long (Springfield, Ill.) executed the perfect sac bunt to push Hargrove into scoring position before a sacrifice fly by junior Bailey Sims (Flowery Branch, Ga.) sent Hargrove over the plate. After a nearly hour long rain delay, Belmont held onto its one run advantage until Bryant was able to knot the score in the top of the sixth frame.
In the top of the eighth, the Bulldogs made their move with one out, using a single and a Bruin error to move the base runner into scoring position. A long double sent her over the plate to put Bryant ahead by one but the Bruins were able to hold their ground for the remainder of the half inning, trailing 2-1. BU wasted little time in its half of the same frame with freshman Audrey Lyle in to pinch hit. She knocked a long double in the gap to the left fence to get things rolling. Senior Baylee Cook (Lewisburg, Tenn.) followed with a walk before classmate Chelsea Thomas (Hot Springs, Ark.) singled deep to left opening the door for the tying run to cross the plate. Sophomore Alicia Veltri (Clarksville, Tenn.) unloaded her second double of the season to lift the Bruins to the 3-2 victory with the walkoff effort.
In the second game, UMass came out hot in their half of the first two innings, posting a total of six runs. Belmont made changes inside the circle that slowed the runs coming over the plate but struggled to find a way to get runners home. Sophomore Autumn McDanel (Moravia, Iowa) made her Bruin debut inside the circle, eventually tossing 5.2 innings in relief.
A hit by pitch and a long double notched another run for the Minutewomen in the top of the seventh. BU pushed for a late surge in its half of the final inning, using a double to left by junior Brooklin Lee (Burns, Tenn.) to get things rolling. Senior Cameryn Strother (Chesapeake, Va.) followed with a single up the middle and tuned on the jets to get to second base on the throw. Despite having a pair of runners in scoring position, BU was unable to get either over the plate, falling 7-0.
For the day, Veltri went 3-for-4 at the plate with a double and an RBI, followed by fellow pitcher Lee, who hit .500 and also notched a double.
Inside the circle, Lee improved to 3-0 on the season with her eight strikeout performance against Bryant. A trio saw action against UMass with McDanel and Veltri each recording three strikeouts in the effort. Junior Brittany Kennett (Melbourne, Australia) made her second appearance of the season versus the Minutewomen.
Belmont returns to action on Saturday for day two of the Georgia Classic. The Bruins take on host-Georgia, who is ranked No.8, and will take on Bryant once again. Both contests will have live stats available and the matchup with UGA can be seen live on SECNetwork+.