NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Belmont Softball split action on the chilly second day of the Bruin Classic Saturday. The Bruins (9-5) were edged late by Dayton (7-5) before picking up another run-rule decision over Alabama A&M (9-7), 9-1, in five innings.
In the matchup with the Flyers, BU jumped on the board first, posting a pair of runs in the bottom of the first inning. A single by senior Baylee Cook (Lewisburg, Tenn.) and a base on balls for Cheyenne Cavanaugh (Spring, Texas) opened the door for senior Hayley Baker (Rockwall, Texas) to notch her first RBI single of the contest. Junior Bailey Sims (Flowery Branch, Ga.) reached first on four balls to load the bases and just as quickly a wild pitch helped Cavanaugh sneak over the plate. Belmont carried its 2-0 advantage until the fourth frame when Dayton fired back. The Flyers exploded for three runs to take a narrow one run lead. Despite strong surges over the remaining innings, the Bruins were unable to plate a win to overtake Dayton and fell by the same score.
BU, determined to hand Head Coach Brian Levin a win on his birthday, had a complete reversal of fortune against Alabama A&M. The Bulldogs recorded a run in the of the first frame but the Bruins rang up three runs in their half of the same inning, courtesy of a three-run homer by sophomore Alicia Veltri (Clarksville, Tenn.). Belmont only took a scoring break in the bottom of the third, adding in a single run, before increasing its score to 6-1 after four complete innings of play, highlighted by another three-run bomb from Veltri. Belmont sent two more runners over the plate in the bottom of the fifth to halt play and take the contest, 9-1.
For the day, the Bruins had three players hit over .600 led by Cameryn Strother (Chesapeake, Va.), who went 2-for-3 with a pair of runs. Baker and Veltri both batted .600. Veltri ruled the day with a pair of homeruns, collecting six RBI.
Inside the circle, three Bruins saw action. Junior Brooklin Lee (Burns, Tenn.) went the distance against Dayton, fanning a pair of batters. The nightcap saw Veltri and junior Brittany Kennett (Melbourne, Australia) split time, combining for three strikeouts in the win over the Bulldogs.
Belmont returns to action on Sunday for the final contest of the 2019 Bruin Classic. BU will take on Dayton at 11:15 a.m. Live stats will be available. An updated schedule for the Bruin Classic, adjusted for impending inclement weather, can be found in Tournament Central.