Women’s softball opens weekend with victory at Hartford
By: Griffen Stockford
The University of Maine softball team traveled to Hartford, Conn. on Saturday, defeating the University of Hartford Hawks 7-6 in the first game of their doubleheader.
Second-year third baseman Alyssa Derrick, second-year shortstop Laurine German and third-year center fielder Rachel Carlson led the Black Bears with two hits apiece in the victory. The Hawks were led by third-year designated hitter Bianca Ross, who had two home runs and a double.
With the score 1-1 going into the fourth inning, the bats on both sides started to heat up. Hartford took the lead with two runs in the top half of the inning on a two-run home run to deep center field by Ross. But Maine responded with two runs of their own in the bottom of the fourth, capitalizing on errors by the Hawks to tie it 3-3.
The Black Bears added two more runs in the fifth inning. Carlson reached base with a bunt, stole second and then scored on a single by fourth-year catcher Rachel Harvey to center field. Harvey then worked her way to third and scored on a wild pitch to make it 5-3, Maine.
But Hartford had an answer and that answer was another two-run Ross home run, this time over the left field wall. The home run was Ross’s third of the season and second of the game to tie it back up at 5-5.
Then, in the top of the sixth inning, German started off the inning with a single and found her way to third on a single by third-year pinch hitter Faythe Goins. German then scored on a wild pitch. First-year Emily Gilmore, pinch running for Goins, moved to third on a wild pitch and then came home on Carlson’s two-out single to center field for a 7-5 lead.
Things were tense in the seventh inning, as the Black Bears faced the heart of the Hawks’ lineup. After fourth-year Danielle DeMarco doubled, Ross stepped in and blasted a double of her own to drive DeMarco home and cut the deficit to 7-6. But Hartford was unable to score another run and the Black Bears escaped with the win.
Maine fourth-year starting pitcher Erin Bogdanovich lasted five innings, tallying four strikeouts, one walk and two earned runs. Third-year Annie Kennedy got the win in two innings of relief.
Second-year Hartford starting pitcher Melissa Pereira allowed seven runs, only four of them earned. The Hawks’ two errors proved vital, as they both led to Black Bear runs. Pereira also tallied three strikeouts and gave up eight hits.
Maine wins second game of doubleheader at Hartford on Saturday
By: Will Nash
In the second game of UMaine’s doubleheader versus the University of Hartford, the Black Bears picked up the win in decisive fashion, by downing the Hawks by a score of 6-2.
The key to Maine’s victory was a four-run inning in the bottom of the first, a response to Hartford’s single run earlier. With the win, Maine improves to 7-17 on the season, 2-0 in the conference and extends their win streak to four. The loss just adds to the misery of Hartford as their record drops down to 3-28 overall and 0-4 in the conference.
Third-year pitcher Molly Flowers got the start for Maine. Flowers stood stout, allowing only two runs, one of them earned and surrendered only four hits. Her eight strikeouts were a season-high. In the first inning, Flowers gave up her only earned run off a home run from Hartford’s third-year center fielder, Elizabeth Newkirk.
Maine responded quickly in the bottom half of the inning. German smacked a solo home run, the first of her career which knotted the score at 1-1. Maine wasn’t done there as Derrick had yet to take the plate. With Harvey on first and third-year left fielder Erika Leonard on second, Derrick homered to right to bat in all three runners and give the Black Bears a 4-1 lead after the first.
In the top of the second, Hartford narrowed the score off a running effort from Ross. Flowers walked Ross, she then stole second and advanced to third off a pop fly to right field. Ross scored after an error at first base that created an opportunity for her run.
A defensive game would be played until the bottom of the third, when Maine picked up two more runs off some familiar names. A single from Harvey started Leonard’s run home. Leonard was aided by an error in right field to allow her to score. Derrick was next at bat and her single helped Harvey run home to push the lead to 6-2. The score at the end of the three innings was the final score as both teams entered into a defensive deadlock.
Flowers and the defense allowed zero hits in the final three innings. It was Flower’s second straight game pitching all seven innings. Maine currently sits comfortably at the top of America East, followed closely by Binghamton and UMass Lowell.
Maine and Hartford have one more game on Sunday to round out the series. First pitch is scheduled for 12:00 p.m.
Softball completes sweep of weekend series
By: Marcus Caliendo
Riding a four-game winning streak and looking to complete a three-game sweep of Hartford after earning victories in Saturday’s doubleheader, 7-6 and 6-2. The Black Bears came out strong in this one and took care of the Hawks handily, 8-4. Maine improved to 8-17 on the season, while Hartford dropped to 3-29.
The starting pitchers would be third-year Annie Kennedy for the Black Bears and Pereira for the Hawks. To begin the game, Kennedy took the mound and sent down the Hawks in order. In the bottom of the inning, Maine would provide its first trouble for Pereira.
Leonard, Carlson and Harvey started the frame with singles to load up the bases and Derrick hit a sacrifice fly to left field to drive in their first run for a 1-0 lead. Despite a walk to load them up again, they left three runners stranded to end the first.
In the second inning, Hartford got their first runner aboard when fourth-year infielder Danielle DeMarco singled and stole second, but the next three batters were unable to drive her in. For the bottom half, Maine had runners on first and second, when Harvey smacked a double to left to drive in two and increase their lead to 3-0. The score would remain the same after the second.
For the third frame, the Hawks went down quietly 1-2-3 as Kennedy was rolling. Maine was able to make some noise in the bottom half, despite starting the inning with two outs. The Black Bears would continue putting runs on the board when second-year infielder Meghan Royle launched a home run to left to make it 4-0.
The bases were then loaded after two singles and a walk and Carlson hit a single to right field to drive in two more to bring it to 6-0. Right after, Harvey had an RBI single of her own to make it 7-0. Hartford’s pitcher Pereira was then pulled from the game and second-year Isabella Gerone entered in relief.
For the fourth inning, Hartford had one runner to reach base on a single, but failed to do anything and remained down by seven runs. The Black Bears led off with a walk before a fielder’s choice and single loaded up the bases, but Leonard was unable to drive anyone in as she popped out to end the inning.
The Hawks would finally strike in the fifth inning, as they led off with a single, another runner reached base on an error committed by German and Newkirk singled to left center to bring in their first run. Two batters later, fourth-year infielder Lexi Wilkerson hit another single to left center that brought in two and cut the score to 7-3. Kennedy was taken out and replaced by Flowers, who got the last out of the inning.
In the bottom half, Carlson led off with a bunt single and stole second. With two outs, third-year infielder Kristen Niland singled to left to drive in Carlson, making it 8-3. Niland advanced to second on an error committed by fourth-year left fielder Marisa Ferguson, but she would not advance as a foul out ended the inning.
During the sixth frame, the Hawks went down quietly 1-2-3, as the first two batters struck out and the third popped out. In the bottom half, fourth-year infielder Chloe Douglass attempted to reach on a bunt, but was thrown out. German followed with a single, but was unable to score as the next two batters got out.
The seventh inning would be Hartford’s last chance to get back into this one and they started it with a leadoff walk to third-year catcher Brittany Wallace. Second-year outfielder Kristen DeCiantis pinch hit and came through with a single and both runners advanced another base on the throw. Newkirk then hit a sacrifice fly to left that brought it Wallace, cutting the score to 8-4. The next two batters got out and Maine claimed the four-run victory, increasing their winning streak to five games.
For Maine, Kennedy went four and two-thirds innings, surrendering three unearned runs on six hits, while walking none and striking out three as she got the win and improved her record to 3-3. Flowers came on in relief, going two and a third, giving up one earned run on one hit, while walking one and striking out four. Three Black Bears had three hits in this game, including Carlson, Harvey and third-year infielder Sarah Coyne.
For Hartford, Pereira went two and two-thirds, surrendering seven earned runs on 10 hits, while walking three and striking out one as she took the loss and dropped to 1-9 on the year. Gerone came on in relief, going three and a third, giving up one earned run, while walking one and striking out two.
Maine returns to action on Wednesday, April 12 on the road in a doubleheader at 1 and 3 p.m. against the University of Massachusetts-Lowell. The University of Hartford plays next on Thursday, April 13 at home in a doubleheader at 2 and 4 p.m. against Stony Brook University.