Softball surges to sweep of conference foe Hartford

Second-year starting pitcher Annie Kennedy redeemed herself in the last outing in game one of Wednesday’s doubleheader to pick up the victory for the visiting Black Bears, 4-2 over the Yale Bulldogs. Kennedy tossed 4.1 innings with two earned runs on seven hits and struck out two en route to her sixth victory of the season (6-4). Maine’s offense put on early and often, scoring all four of their runs in the first two innings that proved to be enough to secure the victory.

Multiple Black Bears contributed to the victory, but it was second-year right fielder Erika Leonard who led the way as she went 2-for-4 at the plate with a key two-out double that propelled the Black Bears to a three-run top of the second. She also scored two runs. First-year second basemen Meghan Royle was the only other Black Bear with multiple hits, going 2-for-4 with one RBI and one run scored. Royle is coming off a great week in which she won America East Rookie of the Week, and the two hits she recorded extended her hitting streak to six games.

Fourth-year catcher Janelle Bouchard went 0-for-2 at the dish, but drew two walks and scored the fourth and final run for Maine. First-year third basemen Alyssa Derrick went 1-for-4 with the two-run winning RBI.

Leonard led the game off with a single. Then it was third-year infielder Rachel Harvey who got things started in the top of the first by roping a double into the gap to score Leonard and put Maine ahead 1-0 after one.

In the second inning Maine grabbed three more runs to add on to their lead and ultimately put the game out of reach. Leonard ripped a double to left/center, followed by a Royle double, which plated Leonard for her second score of the game. Bouchard followed the back-to-back doubles with a walk. With two on, Derrick cleared the bases with a clutch two-run RBI double that sealed the deal for Maine.

Yale diminished the deficit to two as they scored a pair of runs off Kennedy in the bottom of the third. That is as close as the Bulldogs would get and neither team was able to score a run the rest of the way.

Maine’s third-year pitcher Erin Bogdanovich came in to relieve for Kennedy and pitched phenomenal in 2.2 innings of work, earning her first save of the season. She allowed zero earned runs and just one hit, guiding Maine through the finish line as winners 4-2.

After the nonconference victory, Maine improves to 20-17 and Yale drops to 15-29-1. Maine will look to complete the two-game sweep of Yale in the second game of this doubleheader.

Maine falls in game two 3-0

Maine’s offense disappeared in the second game of their Wednesday doubleheader against Ivy League opponent Yale indicated by the score of 3-0. Maine’s offense was on mute the entire game as they totaled only four-hits and gave second-year pitcher Molly Flowers no chance at the victory.

Flowers suffered a frustrating loss in the second game despite pitching well enough to win. She allowed three earned runs on five hits and four walks in 5.0 innings of work. Flowers’ record declines to 8-10 overall on the season. When your offense doesn’t produce for you and gets shutout, it puts your pitcher in a tough spot.

Bogdanovich came in to relieve in the sixth inning and struck out the three out of four batters she faced.

Yale jumped on Flowers right out of the gates; they scored all three of their runs in the first inning and never looked back. The spectacular pitching of Yale’s second-year pitcher Francesca Casalino allowed them to coast to a 3-0 victory.

Casalino had a day on the mound for the Bulldogs, pitching a complete game, four-hit, shutout gem. She also struck out seven batters and only walked two en route to her well deserved, fourth victory on the season. Casalino improves her record to 4-9 following the victory over Maine.

Leonard, Harvey, third-year shortstop  Felicia Lennon and Royle each went 1-for-4 and were the only Black Bears to record hits in game two. Royle’s single extends her hitting streak to seven. Lennon was the lone Black Bear to record an extra base hit as she swatted a double off of Casalino in the top of the sixth.

Unable to complete the two-game sweep of Yale, Maine’s record goes to 20-18 overall this spring. Meanwhile, Yale was able to make even on the day and sees their record improve to 16-29-1

Next in line for the Black Bears is another doubleheader on Saturday, April 30 when they return to conference play and travel to Hartford. The first pitch of game one set for 12 p.m. Game three of the weekend series will begin on Sunday, April 31 at 11 a.m.

Maine earns 8-3 win in game one of Saturday doubleheader

For the first time this season, all nine of the Maine hitters recorded a hit and three different players jacked home runs on the way to their 8-3 victory over Hartford in game one of Saturday’s doubleheader.

Hartford’s offense drew first blood, scoring two runs in the first inning to take a 2-0 lead into the second. However, that was as long as the Hartford lead would last. Maine answered in the second inning with three runs to take the lead in which they held for the remainder of the game.

Lennon got Maine on the board with a solo home run to leftfield. First-year designated hitter Maddie Decker followed up Lennon’s home run with a single up the middle. Up next was Derrick, who swatted a two-run homer that put Maine in the lead 3-2.

Maine got back at it again in the fifth inning, plating three more runs and putting the game out of reach. Second-year center fielder Rachel Carlson scored first off of a perfectly executed Royle sac-fly to left. Bouchard then lined a hard single down the right field line, scoring Leonard. A throwing error on the play allowed Bouchard to make it all the way home and score the third run of the inning.

In the top of the seventh inning, Harvey rounded out the scoring for game one by cranking a two-run home run to left field, scoring Leonard on the play. Harvey’s home run rounded out the scoring for game one at eight and put Maine up by six runs heading into the final half inning. Hartford was able to muster just one run across in the bottom of the seventh and ended up losing by five runs, 8-3

Bogdanovich improves her overall record to 7-4 after tossing a complete game victory on Saturday. She allowed three runs on 11 hits and fanned eight Hartford batters. Bogdanovich also remains perfect in conference play.

Maine completes doubleheader with 11-2 victory

Maine’s offense was even more aggressive in the second game on Saturday as they completed the sweep of the doubleheader and steam rolled over Hartford 11-3 in a game that was called after six innings.

There was multiple bright spots in the Maine offense in the 11-3 slaughter fest over Hartford. Harvey went 3-for-4 with a home run, four RBIs and two runs scored. Harvey also homered in game one of the doubleheader. Bouchard went 2-for-4 with two runs scored and one RBI. Lennon went 2-for-3 with two RBIs and one run scored. Derrick also went 2-for-3 with one RBI and one run scored.

Unlike the first game, Maine didn’t waste any time and got on the board first. Royle drew a walk to start it off. Harvey then roped a double into the right/ center field gap scoring Royle and giving the Black Bears a 1-0 lead.

The Maine offense erupted in the top of the fourth inning, putting the game completely out of reach and scoring eight runs. Derrick began the rally with a single to left that scored Lennon. Carlson then hit a single and scored third-year designated hitter Chloe Douglass.

With the bases loaded for Leonard, she drew a walk to add to make the Maine lead 4-0. Next up with the bases loaded was Royle who hit a sac-fly to centerfield scoring second-year first basemen Kristen Niland. Bouchard then singled to right, scoring Carlson. With two outs and two runners on base, Harvey put the icing on the cake by smacking a three-run homer to left, scoring Leonard and Bouchard. Harvey’s dinger was the end of the damage done by the Maine offense and put the Black Bears on top 9-0.

Maine’s 10th and 11th runs came in the top of sixth on a Lennon two-RBI double that she hit down the left field line scoring Harvey and Bouchard.

Flowers was great on the mound for Maine, in earning her ninth win of the season (9-10). Flowers pitched 6.0 innings, allowing two earned runs on just two hits. The one bad pitch she served up all day got taken deep in the bottom of the fourth for a two-run shot. That was the only time that Hartford was able to muster anything off Flowers in the second game of Saturday’s doubleheader.

Maine and Hartford are set to play the series finale tomorrow, Sunday, May 1 at 11 a.m. Maine will be looking to complete the three-game series sweep.

Maine sweeps Hartford with 11-3 win on Sunday

The University of Maine softball team’s offense exploded on Sunday morning at Hartford. The Black Bears completed the three game series sweep with ease, by the score of 11-3.

Maine’s offensive attack did not slow down from Saturday d’soubleheader. On Sunday they recorded a season-high 17 hits and easily handled Hartford for the third consecutive game in 24 hours.

Leonard and Harvey led the Black Bears high-powered offense with four hits apiece. Leonard went 4-for-4 at the plate with two RBIs and three runs scored. Harvey went 4-for-5 with one RBI and one run scored. Lennon had a game-high three RBIs, batting 2-for-4 with two runs scored on the afternoon. Derrick continues to swing a hot bat, she went 2-for-4 with one RBI.

Maine’s bats came alive immediately after Hartford took a 1-0 lead in the first inning. In the top of the second with the bases loaded, Niland singled to score Lennon and tie the game at 1-1. Leonard grabbed the lead for Maine when she followed up Niland’s single with a sac-fly to left that scored Decker, putting the Black Bears ahead 2-1.

The following inning Maine tallied on three more runs thanks to a three-run home run by Lennon over the left field wall. Lennon’s homer extended the Maine lead to 5-1.  

In the fourth inning, Maine added three runs yet again. Royle went deep for a two-run shot that stretched the Maine advantage to 7-1. Derrick added to the lead when she drove in Bouchard with a single to left for the Black Bears eighth run.

Hartford answered with a couple runs of their own in the bottom of the fourth to cut the deficit down to five.

In the top of the fifth, Harvey lined a single to left that scored Leonard for the ninth run of the game. Then in the seventh inning, Leonard connected on her first home run of the year with a solo homer. Later on in the inning, Decker batted in second-year second basemen Sarah Coyne for the 11th and final run of the game.

Kennedy and Flowers split the seven innings on the bump for Maine. Kennedy went 4.0 innings, surrendering three runs on six hits. Flowers shut Hartford out the last 3.0 innings, allowing just one hit and fanning six batters.

Maine will host University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) in their regular season series finale next weekend. The first game will be Friday, May 6 at 3 p.m. On Saturday, May 7 the doubleheader is set to start at 11 a.m.

Jacob Posik is a native of Turner, ME and an undergraduate student at the University of Maine studying Political Science and Maine Studies. During the 2015-2016 academic year, Jacob was the sports editor of the Maine Campus and is now serving as news editor. His writing can also be found in his Bangor Daily News blog, Top Shelf Gripe, and in The Maine Wire, where he writes political commentary.

http://topshelfgripe.bangordailynews.com
http://www.themainewire.com/author/jacob-posik/

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