Maine had been riding a three-game losing streak, along with taking the loss in 11 of their last 12 before the doubleheader against Sacred Heart. Their offense hasn’t been up to par this season, but they were able to muster enough against the Pioneers in their doubleheader sweep. The Black Bears snuck by in the first contest with a 3-2 win and the second meeting featured a shutout for Maine in their 4-0 victory. Maine improved to 5-17 on the year, while Sacred Heart dropped to 7-12.
For the first game of the day, fourth-year pitcher Erin Bogdanovich got the start for Maine, while second-year Emily Orosco got the call for the Pioneers. The first inning was scoreless despite the Black Bears having runners at first and second as they stranded them.
The second inning would make for some action as second-year infielder Meghan Royle led off with a single, then second-year designated hitter Maddie Decker launched a bomb for a two-run homerun to give Maine the 2-0 lead.
Second-year infielder Laurine German followed with a walk and Orosco was pulled from the game as fourth-year pitcher Jamie Carlson took over the responsibilities from the mound. Later in the inning, third-year outfielder Rachel Carlson hit a fly ball to center field that brought in German for their third run, putting them up 3-0.
In the bottom half of the inning, Sacred Heart put something together to cut into the deficit when third-year infielder Fallon Bevino started it off with a leadoff single and a fielder’s choice put second-year outfielder Kristen McCann on first base. Third-year designated hitter Hannah Ford hit a double to center field that drove in McCann for their first run of the game, making it 3-1.
After Maine went down quietly in the top of the third, the Pioneers mustered together another run in the bottom half when second-year infielder Hailey Desrosiers singled, then a groundout allowed her to get to second base. Bevino followed with a single, but an unnecessary throw by Royle allowed Desrosiers to score, bringing it to 3-2.
The remainder of the game would see no more scoring even though both teams still managed to get runners into scoring position. In the fourth inning, Maine went down 1-2-3 and Sacred Heart sent four batters to plate, as the only one to reach was walked.
In the fifth inning, the Black Bears went down 1-2-3 again and the Pioneers had a chance in their half when they had a first-and-third situation with two outs. Third-year pitcher Annie Kennedy came in to relieve Bogdanovich and she went the rest of the way for the save. Desrosiers was standing on third base while fourth-year infielder Victoria D’Addario was on first, but they were left stranded as McCann grounded out.
Maine got their first runner aboard with a walk in the sixth inning, but a popout, groundout and fly out resulted in a runner left on base. In the bottom half, Sacred Heart went down 1-2-3 and had one more chance to tie the game in the last inning.
To start the seventh, fourth-year infielder Maddie Moore pinch hit for fourth-year outfielder Chloe Douglass, but she was hit by a pitch and Douglass came back in to pinch run. After a groundout allowed Douglass to get to second base and a passed ball let her get to third, she was stranded when second-year infielder Alyssa Derrick grounded out to end the threat.
In their last chance to tie the game or possibly walk off with a win, the Pioneers faltered as the first two batters grounded out. First-year catcher Katelyn Christian reached on an error committed by Royle, but Sacred Heart was unable to use that to their advantage as Bevino grounded out to end the game and Maine claimed the 3-2 victory.
Bogdanovich earned the win after 4.1 innings pitched, as she gave up six hits, two earned runs and struck out three while walking two to improve her record to 2-7 on the year. Kennedy pitched the last 2.2 innings, giving up no hits or walks. Orosco took the loss after one-plus innings, as she surrendered two hits, three earned runs and struck out one while walking two to drop her record to 0-2. Carlson pitched the last six innings, as she gave up two hits and struck out four while walking one.
Black Bears best Sacred Heart for a second time
For the second game of the afternoon, Maine sent third-year pitcher Molly Flowers to the mound, while Sacred Heart handed the ball to McCann. The Black Bears went down 1-2-3 with all groundouts to start it off and the Pioneers almost followed suit as Desrosiers doubled to left center in between a pop out and two strikeouts.
The second inning featured Maine’s first strikeout victim in third-year infielder Kristen Niland and Royle singled to get a runner aboard, but she was stranded after two groundouts. The Pioneers made some noise in the bottom half as D’Addario started it off with a single, then McCann singled with one out to make it first and second. After a pop out, fourth-year outfielder McKenna Wiegand walked to load the bases, but Sacred Heart was unable to cross home plate after a lineout ended the threat.
During the third frame, Maine had a runner on second base for two different occasions, but they couldn’t get a run across. Sacred Heart got a runner on in their half of the inning after an error committed by German and after a walk to put them at first and second with one out, the runners didn’t advance and the game remained scoreless after three.
The Black Bears got another runner to second after a single by Niland and groundout by Royle to send Niland to the next base, but she was left on. The Pioneers got their first batter to reach after another error committed by German, but that was quickly erased as fourth-year infielder Andrea Sidor lined into a double play and Wiegand popped out to end the inning.
In the fifth inning, Moore led off with a walk and made her way to second base after a groundout by German. The Black Bears left another runner on as the next two batters got out, one by strikeout and the other by groundout. Sacred Heart’s third-year outfielder Lauren Delgadillo led off with a strikeout and after Desrosiers walked, Christian lined into a double play to keep the game scoreless.
Maine would finally strike in the sixth inning, as it began with a walk to Carlson, followed by a single from fourth-year catcher Rachel Harvey and a groundout by Niland allowing them to advance a base. A wild pitch from McCann gave Carlson the opportunity to run home for the first score of the game and Royle hit a sacrifice fly to left field to drive in Harvey for the 2-0 lead. Shortly after, Decker was hit by a pitch and Moore singled, but a groundout ended their chances of adding more.
Sacred Heart couldn’t answer in the bottom half, as Bevino grounded out, D’Addario popped out and third-year infielder Stephanie Appelberg struck out. The Pioneers were unable to do anything against Flowers and they would have to do something soon as they only had one more chance to bat.
In the seventh inning, Douglass led off with a single and third-year outfielder Erika Leonard reached on an error committed by D’Addario, which allowed Douglass to score. Leonard advanced to second on the play and got closer when she stole third base. With one out, Harvey sacrificed to the catcher, which allowed Leonard to score and bring it to 4-0. Niland then grounded out to end the inning.
The Pioneers had their last chance, but Flowers sent them down quietly 1-2-3 with a pop out, strikeout and groundout, as she went the distance for the complete game in Maine’s 4-0 victory.
Flowers pitched magnificently, going seven shutout innings with four hits allowed and struck out seven while walking three to improve her record to 2-7 on the year. McCann also went the distance, but allowed four runs with two earned on five hits and struck out three while walking three to drop her record to 2-5. It was a good day for the Black Bears, as they ended their three-game losing streak and began a winning streak of their own.
Maine returns to action on Saturday, April 1 on the road at 2 p.m. and Sunday, April 2 in a doubleheader at noon and 2 p.m. against Boston University. Sacred Heart University plays next on Wednesday, March 29 at home in a doubleheader at 3 and 5 p.m. against Manhattan College.