Second-year pitcher Molly Flowers guided Maine to an 8-0 mercy-rule victory over the UMass Lowell Riverhawks, posting a performance for the ages by tossing a no-hitter in a shortened five-inning game.
Amazingly, it was Flowers’ second no-hitter of the season. Flowers was phenomenal on the bump for the Black Bears as she struck out 11 Riverhawks batters in the shortened game. Following the no-hit gem, Flowers improves her record to 8-6 on the season.
“Molly’s pitch is the changeup, she had great command of her changeup. She was able to get it to drop into the zone too. When she can throw her changeup for a strike like that she is very tough to hit,” Maine’s Head Coach Mike Coutts said.
Maine was producing offense from all angles. It was first-year third basemen Alyssa Derrick who paved the way for Maine finishing the afternoon going 3-for-3 with four RBIs and two runs scored. Derrick connected on her seventh home run of the season as well. Second-year right fielder Erika Leonard also went 3-for-3 in the victory, with two RBIs and one run scored. Third-year shortstop Felicia Lennon went 2-for-3 respectively with one run scored.
The Black Bears wasted no time by scoring three runs in the bottom of the first inning. Derrick ripped an RBI double to right-center field scoring Leonard to open up the floodgates. First-year designated hitter Maddie Decker reached on an error later on in the inning to score Derrick and third-year infielder Rachel Harvey to extend Maine’s lead to 3-0 after the first.
Derrick came up big once again in the bottom of the second, driving in two more Maine runs with a double to left with the bases loaded.
It was Leonard’s turn in the third inning as she smacked a single up the middle that scored Lennon and second-year pinch runner Sarah Coyne to put Maine on top 7-0.
Derrick stepped up again in the bottom of the fourth, this time touching all the bases with a solo shot to opposite field for her seventh home run this year. Maine was now leading 8-0 after the fourth inning.
Flowers put an exclamation mark on the mercy rule victory as she struck out the side in the top of the fifth to secure the Maine victory.
Maine looks to complete the series sweep of UMass Lowell when these two teams meet again tomorrow (Saturday) in a double-header that is scheduled to begin at noontime. The second game is expected to start at 2 p.m.
Black Bears take first game of doubleheader with 6-0 victory
The University of Maine women’s softball team picked up right where they left off from Friday’s beat down against UMass Lowell, as the Black Bears shutout the UMass Lowell again in game one of the Saturday double-header by the score of 6-0.
Third-year starting pitcher Erin Bogdanovich went the distance for the Black Bears in the complete game shutout. Bogdanovich only struck out three batters, but showed great confidence in her defense as she was extremely consistent and accurate in only walking one River Hawk batter on the afternoon. Bogdanovich let her defense take care of the rest.
The Maine bats were electric early on, scoring all six of their runs in the first two innings of the game. Leonard wore a pitch off the back to get things started, and wasted no time getting in scoring position by stealing two bases quickly to put her on third.
Fourth-year catcher Janelle Bouchard then singled to left field bringing in Leonard for the first run of the game. Derrick singled to right advancing Bouchard to third. Next, Harvey walked to load the bases for Lennon. Lennon delivered a bases clearing double to the center field wall pushing the Black Bears lead to 4-0. Third-year first basemen Maddie Moore singled to right field, scoring Lennon from second and rounding out the first inning scoring at five runs.
Second-year center fielder Rachel Carlson scored the lone run for Maine in the second inning, making it 6-0 after two. Harvey was credited with the RBI as she hit into a fielder’s choice with the bases loaded to score Carlson and add to the early Black Bear lead. From this point on the Black Bear bats laid low, going into cruise control and were held scoreless the rest of the way.
Six runs was more than enough for Bogdanovich and the Maine defense as they kept the Riverhawks off the scoreboard the entire game.
Coach Coutts was extremely pleased with the way his team played.
“The biggest thing was the Bogdanovich threw a lot of strikes. When we needed to play defense we did. We didn’t make any errors when they had people on base which was good,” Coutts said.
Maine strolled the finish line with ease, improving their record to 14-13 on the season. The Riverhawks fall to a dismal 5-28 after losing game one of the Saturday double-header to the Black Bears.
Maine cruises to weekend sweep with 13-0 win
The three game series sweep was completed on Saturday afternoon as the UMaine women’s softball team slaughtered the UMass Lowell Riverhawks for the third time in three days. Maine won 13-0 in a game that ended up getting called early after five innings due to the mercy rule for the second time in a 24-hour span.
The Black Bears came into this game swinging a hot bat collectively and did not cool off one bit in the second game of Saturday’s doubleheader. Maine totaled 17 hits and 12 RBI en route to their 13-0 victory. Seven different Maine batters had multiple hits and everyone in the starting lineup reached base safely at least once in the contest, all occurring in a shortened game.
Second-year first basemen Kristen Niland had a great day in the batter’s box, going 2-for-3 while batting in a game-high five RBI and scoring one run of her own. Harvey went 3-for-4 with three runs scored and an RBI. Bouchard went 2-for-4 with two runs scored and two RBI. Leonard, Carlson, Coyne and Decker each helped contribute to the offensive eruption with two hits respectively.
“This weekend we scored a lot of runs in the first inning in every game, and generally that sets the tone for the rest of the game. Hitting is about one person getting hot, then the others get hot and then everyone is hitting. We got a lot of hits with runners in scoring position, which earlier in the year we struggled with,” Coach Coutts said.
Second-year pitcher Annie Kennedy was stellar on the hill for Maine. She pitched the complete game, five-inning shutout. Kennedy surrendered just two hits, and struck out six without allowing a base on ball. Kennedy improves her record to 4-3 this spring.
After the victory, Maine completed the three-game series sweep over UMass Lowell and improves to 15-13 this season. Next, the Black Bears travel to Harvard for another doubleheader that starts at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, April 12 against the Crimson. First pitch of the second game of the doubleheader is schedule for 5 p.m. Maine is looking to bring their momentum from this weekend with them into Harvard and keep their four-game winning streak going.