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Softball hands Albany first conference loss of the season

In a game that was called early due to mercy rule, the University of Maine softball team picked up an 8-0, non-conference victory on Wednesday afternoon against Saint Joseph’s (Maine) at home. Maine’s Head Coach Mike Coutts was able to work in a lot of the reserves that don’t usually get to play often, showing his team’s depth across the diamond.

“Getting everybody in the game today, get some kids who hadn’t played a lot and opportunity to play in game situations. It’s big because you never know when an injury might come about or you need someone during the course of the season. If they have game experience it makes it easier for them go in and play without being nervous because they have already done it,” Coutts said.

Though the Maine offense provided tons of run support, second-year pitcher Annie Kennedy was phenomenal in picking up the win for the Black Bears. The win improves her overall record to 5-3 this season. She hurled five shutout innings with three strikeouts and allowed just four hits. Third-year pitcher Nikki Misner came in to relieve in the final inning and pitched a one hit, scoreless top of the sixth inning.

The Black Bears offense racked up 14 hits as a team with 11 different players recording at least one hit on the way to their 8-0 massacre. It took the Maine offense a while to get going, as they didn’t crack the code until the fourth inning when they put on four runs to break the tie.

First-year third basemen Meghan Royle started off the fourth inning of action with a single to centerfield and then stole second base. Second-year first basemen Kristen Niland followed up by batting in Royle with a single to right that caused a Saint Joseph’s error, allowing Niland to reach third base on the play. Niland was then plated by first-year second basemen Sarah Coyne on a single to right, putting the Black Bears ahead 2-0. A couple batter later, second-year centerfielder Rachel Carlson hit an RBI sacrifice fly to left that scored Coyne on a close play at the plate.

Fourth-year designated hitter Janelle Bouchard smacked an RBI double to centerfield that scored third-year right fielder Chloe Douglass to round out the scoring at four on the inning.

Maine kept the momentum going into the fifth inning. First-year third basemen Maddie Decker scored first for Maine, thanks to a Coyne double to right field. Douglass then hit home another two insurance runs with a single to left scoring Coyne and first-year infielder Ashley Tinsman, pushing the Maine lead to 7-0 after five innings of play.

The game officially came to an end in the sixth inning when Decker hit a blooper to left that scored first-year shortstop Alyssa Derrick to complete the mercy rule victory of 8-0.

Maine is back in America East action when they travel to Albany this weekend for a crucial conference series with the first place Great Danes. The series is set to get underway Saturday, April 23 with the first game of the doubleheader set for 1 p.m. The weekend series will be closed out on Sunday with the first pitch expected at noon.

Maine drops game one of doubleheader to Albany

The Maine softball team dropped the first game of their Saturday doubleheader against the conference-leading Albany Great Danes by the score of 2-1.      

Second-year pitcher Molly Flowers pitched extremely well for the Black Bears, but unfortunately the offense wasn’t able to provide her any type of run support as she took the loss. Flowers pitched 6.0 innings, allowing three hits, three walks and two earned runs. She also fanned 10 Great Dane hitters in her six innings of work. Following the loss, Flowers falls to 8-9 overall this spring.

Things looked good early for the Black Bears, as they got off to a quick start out of the gates by jumping to an early 1-0 lead after the first inning. Second-year right fielder Erika Leonard started the Black Bears off with a leadoff walk, followed by an immediate steal of second base to get her into scoring position. Two batters later, Bouchard ripped an RBI single up the middle to score Leonard and put Maine on top 1-0. Bouchard did all she could offensively in the contest, recording two of the Black Bears four hits on the afternoon while tallying the team’s lone RBI. The Maine bats went silent the rest of the way, being held scoreless in the final six innings of action.

Albany tied the game up in the bottom of the third when fourth-year shortstop Maggie Cocks singled to centerfield scoring first-year infielder Sarah Petzold. Cocks’ RBI single made history, as it made her the University of Albany’s all-time hits leader in softball with 205.

Albany’s game winning hit came in the bottom of the fourth when second-year right fielder Donna Conrad took Flowers deep for a solo home run over the left field wall to put the Great Danes up 2-1. Conrad’s hit ended up being the final run of the afternoon and propelled Albany to victory.

Maine Beats Albany in Saturday’s second game

The Maine softball team handed the Albany Great Danes their first America East loss of the season by the score of 3-1 in game two of the Saturday doubleheader. Maine’s impressive victory also evened up the weekend series at one apiece, setting up for a highly anticipated rubber match on Sunday, April 24 at 12 p.m.

Leonard and Bouchard led the offensive attack again for the Black Bears. Each of them went 2-for-3 at the plate with a homerun.  Carlson also played well for Maine going 2-for-4 at the plate.

Third-year pitcher Erin Bogdanovich was spectacular on the hill tossing a complete game, two-hit gem. In 7.0 innings, Bogdanovich allowed just one run that wasn’t earned due to an error, while striking out six en route to her sixth victory on the season. Following the victory Bogdanovich overall record improves to 6-4.

The Black Bears captured the first lead of the game in the top of the third when Leonard blasted a solo home run to left field that gave Maine a 1-0 lead. Albany answered immediately in the bottom half of the inning, knotting the game up at 1-1.

In the sixth inning Bouchard came up huge by smacking a solo homerun to center that regained the lead for Maine 2-1. It turned out to be the game winning hit and the home run was Bouchard’s third of the spring. In the seventh inning, Royle smacked a double before being pinch ran for by Douglass. Douglass was then batted in by Decker who singled to center, adding an insurance run to extend Maine’s lead to 3-1.

As expected, Bogdanovich came in and closed the deal in the bottom of the seventh inning. Closing the deal on the Black Bears 3-1 victory over the undefeated Great Danes.

Maine has now evened the weekend series at 1-1 and improved their overall record to 19-16 with a 7-3 record in America East action.

Albany takes rubber match 5-3

The University of Maine softball team dropped the rubber match to the Albany Great Danes 5-3, losing the weekend series two games to one.

For the third consecutive game this weekend, Maine struck first and was leading Albany 1-0. However, that stat didn’t end up paying dividends as they lost two out of three on the weekend.

In game three of this back and forth battle; it was Niland crushing her first home run of the season that started Maine off on the right track in the top of the third inning. Maine led 1-0 after three innings.

Albany answered the call in the bottom of the fourth inning by scoring two runs and taking the lead. With the Great Danes first-year, speedy pinch runner Shaye Swiatek on base, Conrad hit a blooper that dropped into shallow, center field for a single. The ball was mishandled after the blooper, allowing Swiatek to score safely and Conrad to reach second, tying the game up at 1-1. Conrad then scored off of a third-year first basemen Mackenzie Cleary RBI single to left.

The following inning, Maine scrapped back and recaptured the lead by scoring two runs in the top of the fifth. Royle started off the rally and tied the game up at three with a solo shot to leftfield. Leonard kept the momentum going with a walk. Next up was Carlson who roped an RBI triple down the third base line to score Leonard and give Maine the advantage 3-2 after the top of the fifth.

Albany wasted no time in taking the lead right back from the Black Bears. The Great Danes plated three runs in the bottom of the fifth and were up 5-3, which proved to be the final score of the contest.

Maine’s Kennedy is tagged with the loss after coming in to relieve and giving up three earned runs on five hits in just one inning of work. Kennedy sees her record drop to 5-4 on the season after taking the tough loss.

Following the weekend series loss against the first place Great Danes, Maine leaves Albany at 19-17 overall and 7-4 in conference. After getting back in the win column, Albany progresses to 29-12 overall and 9-1 in the America East. Up next for Maine is a road trip to take on an out of conference opponent in Yale for a doubleheader on Wednesday, April 27 with the first pitch of game one expected to be thrown at 2 p.m.

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