The University of Maine women’s softball team lost on the road to the Harvard Crimson 10-7 on Thursday afternoon. It didn’t look good early for Maine as they found themselves down by five runs early on before battling back to make it a close battle.
Third-year first basemen Rachel Harvey led the high-powered Black Bears offense on Thursday by going 3-for-4 with a run scored. This was Harvey’s second consecutive game with three hits. Second-year center fielder Rachel Carlson and fourth-year catcher Janelle Bouchard each drove in a pair of runs for Maine despite both going just 1-for-4 on the afternoon. Second-year right fielder Erika Leonard did her job at the leadoff spot going 2-for-4 at the plate with one RBI and a run scored.
Harvard came out of the gates swinging a hot bat, getting out to an early head start and never looking back. The Crimson plated five quick runs in the first two innings of the game, jumping out to an overwhelming 5-0 lead. Maine wasn’t phased and chipped away in the top of the third with a couple of runs, cutting the deficit to 5-2. Harvard’s bats were back at it again in the bottom of the third by scoring another three runs to extend their lead to 8-2.
In the top of the fourth Maine’s offense finally woke up and scored five runs to chop the lead down to just one run. First-year designated hitter Maddie Decker got it started with an RBI single that scored Harvey, followed by second-year infielder Kristen Niland hitting a deep sac-fly to center that scored third-year shortstop Felicia Lennon.
Next, Leonard then singled to bring in third-year pinch runner Chloe Douglass for the third Maine run of the inning. Bouchard capped off the inning with a two-run double to left field that scored Leonard and first-year second basemen Meghan Royal. Maine was down just 8-7 following the top of the fourth, unfortunately it was as close as the Black Bears would get. Maine was held scoreless the rest of the way and Harvard scored one run a in both the bottom of the fifth and sixth inning to propel them to a 10-7 victory.
Maine is looking to get back in the win column when they return home on Saturday, April 16 for a doubleheader against Binghamton that is set for a noon start.
Maine falls in first half of doubleheader
The UMaine softball team played host to the first place Binghamton Bearcats on Saturday afternoon and dropped a 7-3 decision in game one of the doubleheader. Binghamton came into the contest at 6-0 in America East action.
It looked good for the Black Bears early on as they took a 3-1 lead through the first three inning of the game. However, the top offense in the league finally got going and Maine could not hold on to their lead, surrendering two runs in the fourth, fifth and sixth inning.
Binghamton started off the game by scoring the game’s first run in the top half of the first thanks to fourth-year catcher Lisa Cadogan who ripped an RBI single to left scoring third-year infielder Gabby Bracchi.
In the bottom of the first Maine knotted the score up at one. The Black Bears hit back-to-back doubles, batting in Royal for the first Black Bear run of the game.
Maine struck again in the bottom of the third inning as they plated two more runs, extending their lead to 3-1. Bouchard was back at it again with her second double of the game to leadoff the inning and get the Black Bears offense going. First-year third basemen Alyssa Derrick then singled to right, scoring Bouchard from second. Second-year first basemen Kristen Niland singled to center which drove in Derrick and put Maine ahead 3-1 after three innings of play.
From this point on the Binghamton bats erupted and the Black Bears weren’t able to produce any type of offense. The Bearcats scored a pair of runs in three consecutive innings; the bottom of the fourth, fifth and sixth inning ultimately propelling them to a 7-3 victory in game one of the doubleheader.
Second-year starting pitcher Molly Flowers wasn’t at her best on Saturday, but certainly nothing to sneeze at. Flowers went 5.2 innings while surrendering a season-high seven runs on 11 hits and striking out nine Bearcat batters.
“Unfortunately I wasn’t at my best and we were playing against the top team in our league, I just didn’t give our team a good chance to win today,” Flowers said following the tough 7-3 loss.
Second-year pitcher Annie Kennedy came in and pitched a perfect 1.1 innings of work in relief. Flowers took the loss on the afternoon, dropping her record to 8-8 on the season.
In game two of the doubleheader, Maine will be seeking revenge after dropping the first game of the three-game series.
Maine shuts out Bearcats for 3-0 victory
In game two of the Saturday softball doubleheader Maine bounced back extremely quick from the game-one loss and handed the Binghamton Bearcats their first conference loss of the season.
Third-year pitcher Erin Bogdanovich was untouchable in a complete game shutout in which she guided the Black Bears to a 3-0 victory.
“We have been able to bounce back a lot this year, we don’t allow a loss to bother us,” Coutts said.
Bogdanovich was very impressive despite facing the conference’s top offense as she went the full 7.0 innings, allowing only three hits with five strikeouts and no walks. Following the victory Bogdanovich is now 4-4 on the year.
“You have to give a lot of credit to Erin, she only gave up three hits and didn’t walk any. We played good defense behind her and got the job done against a good team,” Coutts added.
Maine didn’t necessarily score a lot of runs but it was more than enough thanks to the pitching of Bogdanovich. Niland had a day and led the way for Maine by going 2-for-3 with two RBIs and one run scored. Harvey also had a pair of hits going 2-for-2 and scoring a run. Lennon scored the other run and went 1-for-2 on the afternoon.
The Black Bears jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second off of a Niland double to left that scored Harvey. In the fourth inning Niland batted in Lennon with another double, only this time off the fence in left field to put Maine up 2-0. Later in the inning, third-year designated hitter Maddie Moore added on an insurance run when she hit a RBI sac-fly to left allowing Niland to score and increase the Black Bear lead to three after the fourth inning.
Maine escaped with a 3-0 victory as Bogdanovich held the Bearcats in check the rest of the game and allowed Maine to make even on the day with a 1-1 split with Binghamton.
The rubber match of the series will be played on Sunday, April 17, at 11 a.m. for a winner takes all. Maine will be looking to bring home the series tomorrow and finish the weekend with confidence.
Maine closes out Binghamton with 2-1 win
Bogdanovich picked up right where she left off from Saturday’s complete game. Bogdanovich went the distance once again for Coutts and her team, directing them to a 2-1 victory in a rubber match against the first place Binghamton Bearcats. Maine handed Binghamton their first two losses this year in conference play, opening up the floodgates for everyone else in the conference.
“It was just the kids wanting to win today and not backing down. Battling them toe-to-toe and then the other thing is Felicia Lennon’s grandfather passed away so we wanted to go out and play for her. We had to give everything we had for her and I think that was part of the victory too,” Coutts said.
Bogdanovich was nothing short of sensational yet again, pitching 7.0 innings while allowing only one run on two hits and fanning four Bearcat batters. She was in such control of her pitches for the second straight game only surrendering one walk after not allowing even one walk the previous day. She has now gone her last 14.0 innings with just one base on ball.
Lennon and Harvey were the lone pair to have multiple hits in this contest for either team. Lennon produced a 2-for-3 day at the plate with an RBI. Harvey also went 2-for-3 and scored a run. Bouchard went 1-for-3 with a run scored as well.
Binghamton drew first blood in the top of the second inning when fourth-year catcher Taylor Chaffee batted in third-year speedster and pinch runner Bridget Hunt to put the Bearcats on top 1-0.
Maine took the lead from Binghamton in the bottom of the fourth when they plated two runs that ultimately led to the victory. Bouchard singled to center field to start off the inning. Harvey then singled to right and advanced to second on an error that also allowed Bouchard to score and tie the game up at one a piece. Lennon then delivered what turned out to be the game-winning hit on an RBI double that she roped to the right/ center field gap scoring Harvey.
The Black Bears are now 16-15 after the series win over first place Binghamton and 6-2 in America East action sliding them up to second place in the conference. Binghamton sees their record drop to 21-11 and 7-2 in conference play after the weekend visit to Orono.