The University of Maine softball team won three of their five games played this weekend in Wilmington, North Carolina. Game 1 was an 11-1 victory for the Black Bears over Bucknell University of Pennsylvania.
Third-year third baseman Alyssa Derrick started the offense early for the Black Bears with a first inning RBI double. Third-year Maddie Decker joined in on hitting with a triple, driving in Derrick. Third-year Meghan Royle singled in Decker to give the Black Bears an early 3-0 lead.
UMaine fourth-year Molly Flowers started the game in the circle for the Black Bears. She pitched two innings of no-hit softball and struck out four batters. First-year Lilly Volk relieved Flowers and threw a no-hit inning to follow and struck out one batter. First-year Kyleigh O’Donnell pitched two innings, and fourth-year Annie Kennedy finished the game with one inning pitched. Maine pitching allowed just two hits and one run in the game.
Derrick maintained the offensive pace for the Black Bears. She went 2-3 in the contest with three runs batted in. Fourth-year Rachel Carlson drove in three runs in the game as well.
Only five of Maine’s 11 runs came from hits. Two walks resulted in runs due to strong patience at the plate by Derrick and fourth-year Erika Leonard. Two runs were scored on a sixth inning error by Bucknell. The Black Bears strong offensive opening shined and kept the runs coming with patience at the plate and tenacity on the basepaths.
Maine drops game 2
Maine dropped Game 2 to University of North Carolina Wilmington. The host team won the game 3-1. Impressive pitching stunned the Black Bears, as Wilmington fourth-year Rylee Pate threw a seven-inning complete game. She allowed six hits in the game, walked one and allowed one unearned run. Pate forced the Black Bears into eight flyouts, seven groundouts and struck out four of the 29 batters she faced.
Maine pitching was split between four players. Kennedy started the game for the Black Bears. She threw two innings, allowed three hits, one run and struck out two batters. O’Donnell was tagged with the loss in the game after relieving Kennedy. O’Donnell pitched two innings, giving up three hits and allowing two runs. The first-year pitcher picked up one strikeout in the effort. Volk and Flowers combined for two shutout innings of relief after replacing O’Donnell. Flowers allowed one hit, struck out two batters and walked one.
Carlson had the hottest bat for the Black Bears in the contest. The leadoff hitter went 3-4 with a double. Third-year Maddie Decker, first-year Maddie Kimble, and second-year Emily Gilmore each reached base with singles in the game.
Maine comes out on top in game 3
Maine took the Game 3 rematch with University of North Carolina Wilmington with a victory. The Black Bears won the game 5-1. Flowers and Kennedy pitched the Black Bears to the win in a combined effort. Flowers started the game and pitched four innings. She allowed four hits, one unearned run and struck out four batters. Annie Kennedy followed with strong support as a reliever. Kennedy pitched three innings of one hit ball and picked up the save. She struck out two batters.
Wilmington’s starting pitcher, fourth-year Sarah Davies, pitched a herculean effort despite collecting the loss. The Burlington, North Carolina native threw 136 pitches in a seven-inning complete game outing. Davies struck out nine of the 31 Black Bears she faced in the contest. Davies allowed six hits and five runs. Of the five runs earned, only two were earned by Davies. She also walked three batters in the game.
Maine’s offense was once again led by Carlson. The leadoff hitter went 3-4 in the game and scored two runs. She hit a triple and stole a base in the game as well. Carlson also managed to escape the Sarah Davies strikeout squad. Six different Black Bear batters went down by way of the K in the game. Derrick and Leonard drove in two of Maine’s five runs.
The game was close in score until the Black Bear’s three-run seventh inning. Maine held a 2-1 lead for four innings of the game. A seventh inning throwing error by Wilmington resulted in two runs for the Black Bears and the lead was preserved for the rest of the match.
Maine finishes Saturday game with split weekend
Maine lost their Saturday rematch with Bucknell University. In their fourth game of the weekend, Maine was shut out 3-0 by the Bison. Bucknell fourth-year Taylor Langtry twirled a gem, throwing a complete game seven-inning shutout. The Black Bears were able to muster just two hits against her in the game, and failed to put a run on the scoreboard. Langtry struck out four and walked four. She threw 113 pitches in the game.
The Black Bears pitching staff answered with their own strong pitching before allowing three runs in the fifth inning. O’Donnell started the game for the Black Bears. She threw four innings of no-hit softball and allowed just one walk. She struck out three of the 13 batters she faced and forced seven groundouts. Volk was charged with the loss after allowing three runs in the fifth. She recorded two innings pitched and struck out two as well.
Langtry’s dominant pitching was enough to sustain Bucknell’s victory. She forced the Black Bears into 13 groundouts and just four flyouts. Derrick and first-year Amanda Vee recorded the only two hits for the Black Bears.
Maine wins in walk-off
Maine softball won their fifth game of the weekend in walk-off fashion. The Black Bears defeated Longwood University 6-4. UMaine entered the seventh losing 4-3. Decker smacked a three-run home run to give the Black Bears the victory. Decker was 1-2 with a walk in the game.
The Black Bears fought tooth and nail over the match that saw three lead changes. Flowers started the game for UMaine. She pitched two innings, allowed one run over two hits, and struck out two batters. O’Donnell relieved Flowers and threw one inning, allowing three runs and two walks. O’Donnell managed to strike out two batters in her one inning of work. The Black Bears’ pitching was saved by Kennedy, who pitched four innings of no-hit softball. She recorded one hit-by-pitch that ended her perfect outing status. In the five games she pitched in this weekend, she threw 11 innings, allowed five hits, struck out seven batters and allowed just one run. She recorded one win and one save in her work in North Carolina.
Carlson had the hot bat in the game. The center fielder went 3-4 with an RBI and a run scored. First-year Shanna Scribner went 1-2 in the game. Fourth-year Sarah Coyne went 1-1 with a run scored as well.
Longwood’s pitching duties were split between first-year Sydney Backstrom and third-year Sydney Gay. Backstrom threw 4.2 innings, allowed three runs, walked two and struck out one. Gay pitched 1.2 innings and was handed the loss after allowing the walk-off homer to Maddie Decker. Gay walked three batters in the game.
The Black Bears will return to action Friday, March 2. They will play a five game series in Stillwater, Oklahoma. Following their work in Oklahoma, they will travel to Tampa, Florida for a stretch of 13 games. Longwood will travel to the Aloha Tournament in in Honolulu, Hawaii. They start tournament play on Thursday, March 1 against University of Texas El Paso at 8:30 p.m.