On Friday, Feb. 22, the University of Maine softball team began their season against San Antonio, traveling to play Lamar University later on the same day. On Feb. 23, Maine softball repeated the schedule of the previous day.
The Black Bears dropped their first game on Friday against the San Antonio Roadrunners with a final score of 6-5. While the Black Bears managed to keep a lead into the bottom of the seventh, the Roadrunners scored two points to bring them into the lead for the remainder of the game.
Despite the loss, the Black Bears played admirably, with the first run of the season going to second-year catcher and first baseman Amanda Nee after she tripled down the left line during the top of the second inning.
The lead continuously switched between the two teams, with San Antonio leading into the third and sixth inning while the Black Bears fought to keep the score even. UMaine managed to get in the lead when fourth-year infielder Laurine German stole and scored on a ground out by fourth-year infielder Maddie Decker. The Roadrunners ultimately won the game with a home run and an RBI single, but the Black Bears worked hard to stake their claim in the first game of the season.
Later that Friday, the Black Bears played Lamar University Cardinals, losing with a final score of 2-4.
The Black Bears started the game off strong, leading the Cardinals 1-0 after the top of the first inning. First-year outfielder Brianna Neely earned the starting position at bat for her first game of the season, connecting with the ball for a line drive that got her to first base.
The Cardinals were not willing to let the Black Bears get too far ahead and brought the score up to a tie during the second half of the first inning. Lamar gained the lead going into the third inning with a score of 2-1 after sending home the third-baseman.
The Black Bears fought back, tying the score when first-year Grace Mouldrick doubled home fourth-year infielder Meghan Royle. Ultimately, the Cardinals gained and maintained the lead when two runs sealed the final score.
Starting Saturday, Feb. 23, the Black Bears went on to face both Lamar University and the University of Texas at San Antonio. The first game of the day against the Cardinals, ended in a loss with a final score of 7-2. The second game against the San Antonio Roadrunners also ended in a loss for, with a final score of 3-0.
Despite the losses, there is every hope that the Black Bears will continue to work hard and push themselves throughout the season. Laurine German, who has played for Maine softball team for the past three years, has noticed a positive difference in her teammates and their mindset going into this season.
“This year has already been different from other years. Culturally, we have approached the year and situations differently. Every year we come up with a [team] hashtag, this year’s hashtag is ‘one’ … to us it means many things. We move as one, we take one pitch at a time, one day [at] a time,” German said “Moving as one, we all need to be on the same page and that can at times be difficult but with strong communication within your team and coaching staff, it works. We are all working towards the same goal and all want to make it a fun and memorable experience. Everyone has been working hard, improving, doing what they need to do on and off the field.”
While the season may not have started on as high a note as hoped for, the Black Bears will continue to work hard and fight for some wins this season.
The next series of games will take place on March 1-2, in Abilene, Texas, as the Black Bears face off against the Abilene Christian University Wildcats.