It was a case of too little, too late for the University of Maine women’s softball team as they dropped their series opener 4-2 at Quinnipiac on Friday afternoon in a game where the Black Bears never led. Following the loss the Black Bears record drops to 8-11 on the season as Quinnipiac improves to 9-12.
Quinnipiac’s fourth-year right fielder Abby Johnson drew first blood with a leadoff home run to right in the first inning to get the Bobcats on top early and they never looked back. Quinnipiac struck again in the fifth, where the Bobcats tallied three more runs keyed by fourth-year catcher Dani Edmands who ripped a two-RBI double to left extending their lead to 4-0.
The Maine batters eventually came alive in the sixth inning where they scored two runs and their comeback attempt came up just short. With the bases loaded, first-year third baseman Alyssa Derrick drew a walk that brought in second-year outfielder Erika Leonard for the Black Bears first run of the game. Next up was third-year shortstop Felicia Lennon who kept the rally alive with a single to left with the bases loaded batted in second-year outfielder Rachel Carlson to cut the deficit in half at 4-2. Unfortunately that is as close as Maine would get and were unable to score again as they failed to even get on base in the seventh inning.
On the mound for the Black Bears was second-year pitcher Molly Flowers, who took the loss giving up four runs on five hits with three strikeouts in 4.1 innings of work. Third-year pitcher Erin Bogdanovich came in to relieve Flowers and pitched very well, recording 1.2 scoreless innings without allowing a hit. For the Bobcats, it was second-year pitcher Casey Herzog receiving the win, going 5.0 innings pitched and allowing two earned runs on four hits. Bobcats fourth-year pitcher Sydney Robey came in in the sixth inning with the bases loaded and got them out of a jam earning the save on 2.0 innings pitched of shutout ball with a game-high four strikeouts.
Black Bears top Quinnipiac 9-2
The University of Maine women’s softball team opened up the first game of their Saturday doubleheader in fashion with a 9-2 triumph over the Quinnipiac Bobcats.
Maine jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the first inning lead with two runs off back-to-back singles to put runners on first and second for the Black Bears with two outs. Third-year designated hitter Rachel Harvey then stepped up and ripped one to right field that caused a Quinnipiac error that put Maine on top 2-0 after the first inning.
In the following inning the Bobcats cut the Black Bears lead in half thanks to an RBI double from second-year pitched Casey Herzog. Maine then added to their lead in the top of the third inning when Lennon singled to left field to bring home fourth-year catcher Janelle Bouchard to extend the Black Bear lead to 3-1. Quinnipiac answered back quickly in the bottom of the third with a runner on second base. The Bobcats fourth-year pitcher Sydney Robey smacked a double in the left/center field gap cutting the deficit to just one at 3-2 after three innings. Maine dominated the rest of the way as they kept Quinnipiac off the board the last four innings and tallied six more runs of their own en route to their 9-2 dominate win.
Maine was led by Derrick who went 3-for-4 at the plate with an RBI and two runs scored. Bouchard also helped propel Maine to victory going 2-for-3 at the plate and crossed home plate for a game high three runs scored. Lennon also chipped in by hitting 2-for-4 at the plate and two RBI.
Quinnipiac tallied up eight hits but was only able to score twice in the game, as it was their five defensive errors that ultimately cost them. Herzog was a perfect 2-for-2 with a walk and an RBI double at the plate for the Bobcats. Roby finished the game with a 2-for-4 performance, and also added an RBI double. Third-year centerfielder Keilani Finley respectively went 2-for-3 on the afternoon’s first game.
It was second-year pitcher Annie Kennedy earning the victory for the Black Bears. Kennedy pitched 3.0 innings of work allowing two runs on five hits and one base on ball. Bogdanovich came into relief for Maine and was very sharp in her 4.0 innings pitched keeping the Bobcats bats silent allowing just two hits and zero runs scored.
Maine closes out doubleheader with 3-1 win
Flowers was sensational on Saturday afternoon in propelling Maine to a 3-1 victory in the rubber match of their series over the Quinnipiac Bobcats in the second game of the double-header. Flowers could not be touched all game as she pitched a complete 7.0 inning game, allowing four hits and one earned run to go with a season-high 13 strikeouts. Flowers record improved to 6-5 on the season.
The Black Bears offense was producing for Flowers slowly but surely. Maine tallied single runs in three consecutive innings, the second, third and fourth to put them ahead 3-0. First-year third baseman Maddie Decker’s second home run of the season got the Black Bears offense started with a towering solo home run to left field, giving Maine a 1-0 advantage. Bouchard reached base with a double in the third inning and was batted in by the following batter in Derrick who smacked an RBI single up the middle.
In the fourth inning, it was Carlson who ripped a line drive triple to right field and scored the first-year pinch runner Laurine German to put the Black Bears up 3-0 after four innings. This was all of the offensive support that Flowers would need for the Black Bears to prevail on the road.
Quinnipiac broke up the shutout in the sixth inning thanks to some help from their pinch hitters. First-year pinch hitter Autumn Martin singled for her first career hit in a Bobcats uniform, giving Quinnipiac life late in the game. With two outs in the sixth, first-year pinch hitter Erin Larsen stepped up and hit an RBI double to left, cutting the deficit down to 3-1 and finally cracking the code on Flowers. Flowers struck out the next batter and the Bobcats would get no closer than this and ended up taking the 3-1 loss and lost the series 2-1.
Herzog may have been outshined by Flowers but certainly pitched a solid game in her own right. Herzog pitched a complete game, surrendering three runs and six hits over seven innings while striking out nine Black Bears in the process. Despite a solid outing, Herzog sees her record on the hill drop to 5-7.
After prevailing in the series rubber match, Maine leaves Quinnipiac with a 10-11 record. Quinnipiac falls to 9-14 overall on the season. The Black Bears look to continue their winning streak and carry momentum with as they bring their two game winning streak with them on the road to Rhode Island on Wednesday, March 30 when they take on the Rams at 4 p.m.