MADEIRA BEACH, Fla. -- After a strong start to open the Madeira Beach Invitational, the Belmont Softball team (2-1) was tripped up to open the second day of competition at the tournament. The Bruins rallied but went on to fall to Monmouth (1-3), 4-2, before exploding in the nightcap with a 16-1 rout of Drexel (0-4).
A 0-0 stalemate marked the first three innings of play on Saturday. Sophomore Alicia Veltri (Clarksville, Tenn.) posted five strikeouts inside the circle before turning over duties to newcomer Brittany Kennett (Melbourne, Australia). The Hawks made a mark on the scoreboard first, going on to tally four runs in the bottom of the fourth frame. Monmouth kept the Bruins silent for one inning before Belmont fired back in the top of the sixth. Seniors Hayley Baker (Rockwall, Texas) and Chelsea Thomas (Hot Springs, Ark.) reached on a single and a hit by pitch, respectively. Sophomore Cheyenne Cavanaugh (Spring, Texas) came into to pinch run and the new duo moved into scoring position behind a wild pitch. Rookie Audrey Lyle (Westlake, Ohio) came to the plate and smashed her first double of the season to plate both runs, cutting the Hawk lead in half. However, that would be as close as BU would come as Monmouth held on to win by the same score.
Game two was all Belmont. After a quiet first inning for both teams, the Dragons would go on to score what would become their lone run of the contest in the bottom of the second frame. BU exploded in the top of the following inning, recording four runs behind a double by junior Bailey Sims (Flowery Branch, Ga.), a sacrifice fly by Baker, combined with a Drexel error and a wild pitch. The Bruins posted three more runs in the top of the fourth inning to take a commanding 7-1 lead. After another full inning of offensively silence from both squads, BU turned on the afterburners in the top of the sixth frame. A double to center field by Baker was enough to start the scoring merry-go-round to the tune of nine runs scored, most with two outs already posted against the Bruins. After the flurry, Belmont clamped down defensively to hold on for the 16-1 win.
For the day, Veltri went 4-for-y, batting .667 with two runs and a pair of RBI. Batter batted .500 after going 4-for-8 with three runs, a double and a homerun.
Inside the circle, three Bruins saw action, led by junior Brooklin Lee (Burns, Tenn.), who notched a complete game win with four strikeouts. Veltri and Kennett split time in the circle, each tallying five strikeouts.
Belmont returns to action on Sunday for the final contest of the Madeira Beach Invitational. BU takes on Delaware at 1 p.m. CT. Live stats will be available.