The University of Maine softball team (4-6) traveled to Stillwater, Oklahoma for the Mizuno Classic. The tournament consists of five games for the Black Bears, against Saint Francis University (SFU), Oklahoma State University and the University of Nebraska Omaha on Friday, March 2 through Sunday, March 4. The Black Bears kicked off the classic on Friday, March 2 when they played the Red Flash from Saint Francis (10-7) in game one of a doubleheader. The Black Bears fell to the Red Flash 4-1 in their opening game.
Starting in the circle for the Black Bears was fourth-year Molly Flowers. Last season Flowers went 6-10 with 26 appearances and 20 starts, while striking out 79 hitters in 94.1 innings.
Starting in the circle for the Red Flash was second-year Abby Trahan. Last season, Trahan was named the NEC Rookie of the Year and was a member of the NFCA All-Region Third Team. She appeared in 35 games and was ranked 60th in Division 1 in hits allowed per seven innings (5.3).
In the top of the first, Saint Francis fourth-year Sierra McKee scored the first run of the game off of a wild pitch, 1-0. Then, fourth-year Hayley Norton lined a double to center field which brought in third-years Cheyenne McKee and Kassidy Troxell, 3-0.
In the bottom of the fourth, the Black Bears made a pitching change, putting in first-year Kyleigh O’Donnell to replace Flowers.
In the top of 5th, SFU scored again when fourth-year Madison Cabell hit a home run to put the Red Flash up by four.
In the 5th inning, Maine got on the board when third-year Meghan Royle hit a solo homer to the left to make cut the lead to three. That would be the last run as SFU went on to win it 4-1.
Softball falls to Oklahoma State University
The University of Maine softball team played their second game of the day on Friday, March 2 against the Cowgirls from Oklahoma State University. After only playing five innings, the Black Bears fell to the Cowgirls 19-1.
Starting in the circle in game two for the Black Bears was Flowers. Pitching for the Cowgirls was third-year Samantha Clakley. Last season, Clakley was named to the Second-Team All-Sun Belt Conference and SBC All-Tournament Team while appearing in 45 games.
In the first inning, Oklahoma State got on the board early off of a sac fly from first-year Sydney Pennington to give them the 1-0 lead. The runs kept coming when two more Cowgirls crossed home plate.
In the bottom of the second, there was a home run from second-year catcher Mackenzie Thomas, resulting in an 11-0 Cowgirls lead. Maine would get on the board in the top of the fourth inning with a solo shot to the left, 12-1.
Unfortunately, it just wasn’t Maine’s day, as the Cowgirls would go onto score seven more runs, resulting in a final score of 19-1.
Softball downs SFU in day two of Mizuno Classic
The University of Maine softball team returned to Cowgirl Stadium for day two of the Mizuno Classic for a doubleheader against SFU and Oklahoma State on Saturday, March 3. In game one, the Black Bears defeated the Red Flash, 8-3.
The starting pitcher for the Black Bears in game one was fourth-year Annie Kennedy. Last season, Kennedy made 24 appearances with five starts and went 5-3 with a team-low 4.04 ERA and 30 strikeouts.
The starting pitcher for the Red Flash was second-year Adrian Smith, who last season made 22 appearances with 11 starts, with one at third base and 10 as designated player.
In the top of the fourth inning, Maine struck first when fourth-year Erika Leonard and third-year Maddie Decker both scored to give the Black Bears a two-run lead. Then fourth-year Kristen Niland scored off of an error by the Saint Francis catcher.
Saint Francis got on the board when third-year Mikayla Bower scored a run to pull them within two. However, the Black Bears answered back when fourth-year Rachel Carlson scored on a single to left.
In the fifth inning, Royle hit a homer to the left, scoring Leonard, third-year Laurine German and second-year Emily Gilmore to make the score 8-1.
Then, in the bottom of the fifth, first-year Jordan Frank hit a home run in her first career at-bat to make it 8-2. A pitching change was then made for the Black Bears, with first-year Lilly Volk coming in to replace Kennedy.
In the bottom of the 7th, the Red Flash cut the deficit to five when first-year Tayven Rousseau scored off of a hit from second-year Taylor Hoover.
That would be the last of the scoring as the Black Bears go on to win it 8-3.
The Red Flash will finish the tournament with a single game against Oklahoma State.
Softball falls to Oklahoma State
The University of Maine softball team played their second game of the day and their fourth game of the Mizuno Classic against the Cowgirls from Oklahoma State University (12-6) on Saturday, March 3. The Black Bears fell to the Cowgirls, 8-0 after five innings.
Starting in the circle for the Black Bears was Kyleigh O’Donnell, who received both losses on Friday versus SFU and Oklahoma State.
Starting in the circle for the Cowgirls was second-year Logan Simunek, who made 27 appearances last season, starting five games and finishing the year with a 6-3 record.
In the bottom of the first, the Cowgirls got on the board first when fourth-year Vanessa Shippy scored off of a groundout by third-year Madi Sue Montgomery. They made it 2-0 when Pennington hit her fifth home run of the season.
Then fourth-year Jessi Haffner made it 3-0 when she launched her fourth homer of the season. In the bottom of the second, the Cowgirls made it 4-0 when fourth-year Maddi Holcomb scored off a drive by Shippy. Then, shortly after, Shippy scored again off of a single by Montgomery to make it 5-0.
In the bottom of the third, a pitching change was made for Maine, with Flowers coming in to replace Kyleigh O’Donnell. However, shortly after, Haffner hit her second home run and made it 6-0.
Fourth-year Randee O’Donnell made it 7-0 after a hit batter forced a run in.
In the bottom of the fifth, Shippy scored off of a single by Pennington to make it 8-0 and that would be the final score.
Black Bears fall Mavericks
The University of Maine softball team played their final game of the Mizuno Classic against the University of Nebraska at Omaha (9-11) on Sunday, March 4. Unfortunately, the Black Bears fell to Nebraska Omaha 4-2, leaving the Classic with two wins and three losses.
Starting in the circle for the Black Bears was Kennedy, who was 2-0 going into the game after four innings with four hits and letting up one run on Saturday. Starting in the circle for Omaha was first-year Aubrey Hacke.
In the first inning, third-year Natalie Mostek scored the first run of the day off of a double by second-year Emily Klosterman. Then, Klosterman scored to make it 2-0 Omaha.
Then Decker put the Black Bears on the board when she hit a home run to make it 2-1. However, fourth-year Kelly Pattison hit a home run of her own to give Omaha a two-run lead.
In the bottom of the fifth, Omaha third-year Demi Dobbs hit a home run to make it 4-1. Then, in the top of the 6th, German scored to decrease the lead to two.
That would be it for the scoring as Nebraska Omaha went on to win it 4-2.
Maine will begin a stretch of 13 games in eight days on Friday, March 9, when they take on Loyola University Chicago at 2 p.m., then Quinnipiac University at 4:30 pm. Both games, as well as the other 11, will be played in Tampa, Florida.