In game one of UMaine’s doubleheader versus the UMass Lowell River Hawks, third-year relief pitcher Annie Kennedy’s stellar performance on the mound stole the show for Maine. Kennedy pitched 6.1 innings, allowing only two hits en route to her shutout.
On the offensive side, fourth-year Rachel Harvey’s impressive four-hit game led Maine to its 8-2 victory over the Riverhawks. After game one, Maine’s record improves to 9-17 overall and a perfect 4-0 in conference play. UMass Lowell on the other hand falls to 12-16 and 4-2 in America East.
Third-year pitcher Molly Flowers got the initial start on the mound for the Black Bears. She was quickly relieved by Kennedy, after walking four batters and allowing two runs while just recording one out. Kennedy cleaned up the first by striking out fourth-year Alisha Welch on a big swing and miss. Once Kennedy entered, the game was a different story.
In the top of the third, Maine began its scoring streak. With third-year Rachel Carlson on base, Harvey picked up her second home run of the season, scoring Carlson and herself evening the score at two.
In the bottom of the third, Maine continued its defensive success, limiting UMass Lowell to only three hitters for the second inning in a row. With their momentum building, Maine returned to the plate.
After third-year Sarah Coyne singled to right-center, her journey around the bases began. She made it all the way to third before Harvey reappeared to present her heroics. Her single to the shortstop batted in Coyne but Harvey wasn’t done there. She proceeded to steal second and then run home off an RBI single from second-year Alyssa Derrick.
Last year, Derrick was named America East Rookie of the Year, receiving Rookie of the Week honors twice. Her eight home runs last season were a team high as well as her 41 RBI’s. In her five at bats in this game, she managed to record two hits and a walk and was left on base three different times.
Maine kept UMass Lowell off the bases again in the fourth for a third consecutive inning, maintaining their defensive excellence.
Singles from third-years Erika Leonard and Carlson in the top of the sixth once again set up Harvey to steal the show. Her bunt brought in Carlson and Leonard to extending Maine’s lead to 6-2. Coyne picked up her second run in the seventh while Harvey picked up another RBI on a single to left field, capping off her impressive career game with five RBI’s and two runs scored.
One last solid defensive inning by Kennedy and Maine ended the game with the score 8-2, a solid victory for the Black Bears on the road against the America East’s third ranked team.
Black Bears split doubleheader after strong first matchup
It looked like Maine was due to repeat the success they found in game one of the doubleheader versus UMass Lowell, with three early unanswered runs. However, the Riverhawks were not having it this time, scoring five runs in the bottom of the fifth to take the game 5-3. The loss brings Maine’s overall record down to 9-18 and ruins their perfect streak in America East (4-1). UMass picks up a big win against the top ranked team within their conference. Their record improves to 13-16 and 5-2 in America East.
All five of the River Hawks’ unearned runs were the result of defensive fielding errors. After their previous domination versus UMass Lowell, Maine came out of the gates with some confidence.
Maine opened up the scoring in the first frame. Harvey returned to the spotlight with a single, then, in typical fashion, stole second. Derrick cleaned up with a single up the middle, earning an RBI as Harvey ran home.
Carlson singled to third and took second off a fielding error. Harvey took first after being hit by a pitch. Derrick stepped up to the plate with two runners on base and ripped a single that brought Carlson home to increase Maine’s lead to 2-0.
In the top of the fourth inning, fourth-year Chloe Douglass pinch ran for second-year Maddie Decker after she was walked. Douglass stole second and then advanced to third after Coyne hit one to first base. Douglass was then batted in by Leonard, who picked up her 16th RBI of the season. Halfway through the game, heading into the bottom of the fourth inning, Maine was up 3-0 and prospects were looking optimistic.
The bottom of the fifth would spell a different fate for Maine. UMass Lowell’s first-years Emily Stevenson and Casey Harding both singled to start things off, one off a pop fly to right field and the other off an error at third base.
Fourth-year Tori Alcorn picked up another single to load up the bases, signaling trouble for Maine. Third-year Samantha McQueen pinch hit for first-year Marianne Sparacia and reached first base off an error at second base, as both Harding and Stevenson ran home for two unearned runs.
Fourth-year Alyssa Hasbrouch put the team on her back with her next at bat. Her double sent Alcorn home and put runners on second and third. First-year Courtney Cashman was next and her single brought McQueen and Hasbrouch. That capped off the River Hawks five-run fifth inning, which ultimately won them the game.
At this point, Kennedy came in to relieve for fourth-year Erin Bogdanovich, who had let up five runs on six hits and put a halt to the nightmare inning.
When all was said and done, UMass Lowell managed to secure five runs to take the lead and eventually the win as Maine would be unable to find any more offensive success.
Up next for Maine is a weekend series versus Stony Brook University who currently sits at fourth place in America East. UMass Lowell turns its attention to Binghamton.