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Softball Drops Both Ends of Doubleheader to Providence

Courtesy:           Release: 03/06/2013

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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - The Bethune-Cookman softball team continued its six-game homestand on Wednesday with a non-conference doubleheader loss to Providence by scores of 18-6 and 10-1 at Sunnyland Park. B-CU senior right fielder Michelle Banuelos-Smith tallied two home runs on the day, bringing her total to a team-leading three on the campaign.

Game 1: Providence 18, B-CU 6

Junior Shanel Tolbert took the mound going into the opening game for Bethune-Cookman (3-14). The Los Angeles native tossed 3.1 innings in the loss before being relieved by sophomore Samantha Gale, as the Cats fell to the Friars by a count of 18-6.

Providence (4-7) opened the game with a pair of runs before B-CU countered in the bottom-half of the frame. Center fielder Kelsey Rodney's RBI single shot back up the middle crossed Calesha Shelley, followed by Banuelos-Smith punching a homer to right center, giving the Wildcats a brief 3-2 lead after one inning played.

Providence responded in the top of the second with four runs as second baseman Megan Rollings and first baseman Kristie Dederick each laced two-run scoring singles up the middle to advance the Friars out to a 6-3 lead.

The Wildcats seized momentum in the bottom of the inning when senior shortstop Aurelia Gamch's single to right plated Breanna Chavez and Sophia Ortega. One batter later, the score would become tied at six when Simone Ceasar registered an RBI groundout to score Shelley on the play.

However, the Friars, playing out of the Big East, took momentum for good in the third frame, using a Rollings single to right with the bases loaded to score Stephanie Kiesel, giving her team the go-ahead 7-6 advantage. Two additional runs crossed in the inning with Dederick recording two of her game-high eight RBI on a single through the right side that scored Kiarra Baldassari and Marie Flego.

The Friars tacked on runs in the fourth and fifth innings, respectively, to end the contest in a five-inning affair.

Providence starting pitcher Kiara Amos went the distance in the win, upping her record to 2-4 on the year. She tossed five innings, allowing six runs on seven hits and striking out three with a walk.

With the loss, B-CU's Tolbert dropped to 2-10 on the campaign as she allowed 13 runs (all earned) on 13 hits with three walks and a strikeout. Gale finished the final 1.2 innings in relief on the mound for the Wildcats, allowing five runs (four earned) on six hits and one strikeout.

The Friars were led offensively in the opener by six players collecting multi-hit performances, including a game-high 4-for-4 outing by Rollings, adding six RBI and two runs scored. Dederick finished 3-for-5 with her eight RBI and two runs, while teammates Shanelle Harris and Baldassari each tallied 3-for-4 performances at the dish.

B-CU was led offensively by Shelley with a 2-for-2 game, scoring twice in the process. Banuelos-Smith finished 1-for-3 with two RBI, and Rodney was 1-for-2 with a RBI and run scored.

Game 2: Providence 10, B-CU 1

Once again it was Tolbert toeing the rubber for the Wildcats in the second game, going the distance in the six-inning affair. The Friars were able to pull off the doubleheader sweep courtesy a 10-1 decision in the nightcap in a run-rule contest.

Providence (5-7) kicked off the scoring in the first inning, crossing two runs on the strength of a Sarah Kitterman RBI single down the left field line, as well as a Kiesel RBI single to center. The Friars added three runs in the second as Dederick registered a two-run scoring single to left that plated Baldassari and Flego. That was followed by Dederick scoring on an error charged to the B-CU infield.

The lone run of the game for Bethune-Cookman (3-15) came in the bottom-half of the second when Banuelos-Smith connected on her second homer of the day - her third of the year, with a leadoff shot to center.

Two runs for Providence in the fourth was followed by three runs in the top-half of the sixth that included a leadoff homer to center for Kiesel.

Once again it was Amos going the distance on the mound for the Friars, using the win to up her record to 3-4 on the year. She allowed just one earned run on eight hits and struck out two with a walk in six innings tossed. Tolbert took the loss for B-CU, lowering her record to 2-11 on the season. She allowed 10 runs (five earned) and fanned two with three walks in six innings worked.

Harrell was the offensive leader for the Friars with a 3-for-4 outing, followed by Baldassari, Kiesel and Flego with two hits apiece. B-CU was led at the plate by Gamch and Banuelos-Smith, each finishing 2-for-3, including an RBI and run scored for Banuelos-Smith courtesy her solo homer.

Thursday's doubleheader with Boston College has been cancelled. The Wildcats will now head to California for a six-game road trip beginning with a Sunday meeting with the University of Utah in Long Beach, Calif.

For all the latest information on the Bethune-Cookman Wildcats, follow the official Twitter feed, @BCUathletics, or "Like Us" on Facebook at Bethune-Cookman Athletics.

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