NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Belmont University Softball will look to build on its opening weekend successes with another tournament weekend. The Bruins (4-1) travel to play in the 16th annual Georgia Classic, hosted by the University of Georgia, who is ranked No. 8 in the country. Also playing in the three-day tournament are Bryant (0-5), UMass (1-5), and host-Georgia (9-1).
First-time opponent Bryant remains on the hunt for its first win of the season, starting 0-5 after playing in the Felsberg Invitational last week in Miami. The Bulldogs are led at the plate by Tiffany Bell, who is hitting .500 with six hits and one RBI. Inside the circle, Bryant looks to a corps of four, led by Gabrielle Ermish. She has tallied a 2.33 ERA with three strikeouts over nine innings of work. Sarah McKeveny leads the group with 10 strikeouts and two complete games.
First-time opponent and No. 8 ranked Georgia enters its own tournament boasting a 9-1 record in the early season. Last weekend, the Dawgs went undefeated at their own Red and Black Showcase, picking up decisions in less than six innings in all but one contest. UGA is led at the plate by Alyssa DiCarlo, who is batting .571 five doubles, one triple and eight homeruns. The six pitchers in the UGA corps are led by Lauren Mathis, who has a 0.72 ERA with 13 strikeouts over 9.2 innings and a 2-0 record. Mary Wilson Avant has also collected 13 strikeouts to the tune of a 2.14 ERA, a 2-1 record over a team-leading 16.1 innings.
UMass heads to the Georgia Classic looking to build on its first win after opening the season at the Diamond 9 Citrus Blossom in Kissimmee, Fla. The Minutewomen are led at the plate by Kaitlyn Stavinoha, who is batting .636 with two doubles, two homeruns and three RBI. Inside the circle, Kiara Oliver has done the majority of the work, tossing 15.1 innings for a 4.57 ERA with 12 strikeouts.
UMass and Belmont have not faced off since the 2016 season, when the teams split their two games at the Red & Blue Classic.
BU posted 4-1 record after opening the season at the Madeira Beach Invitational last week. The Bruins' are led at the plate by reigning OVC Player of the Week sophomore Alicia Veltri (Clarksville, Tenn.), who is batting .500 with one double, a pair of homeruns and nine RBI. Senior Hayley Baker (Rockwall, Texas) is batting .471 with three doubles, two homeruns and eight RBI.
Inside the circle, junior Brooklin Lee (Burns, Tenn.) continues her dominant performance from one year ago, opening the season with her first career hitless shutout against Ball State, earning Tennessee Sports Writers Association (TSWA) Pitcher of the Week honors. She has an ERA of 1.75 with 19 strikeouts over 16 innings of work for a 2-0 record with a save. Veltri has posted a 0.58 ERA with 19 strikeouts over 12 innings for a 2-0 record.
Belmont's first matchups of the Georgia Classic are against Bryant and UMass on Friday. On Saturday, BU takes on Georgia and Bryant once again before concluding the tournament with a game another against Georgia on Sunday. Live stats will be available for all of the games and the games versus UGA will be shown live on SECNetwork+.