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Softball splits in two series against URI and Stony Brook

The University of Maine softball team split a pair of doubleheaders over the week against Rhode Island and Stony Brook. After the week of action, Maine moves to 12-13 on the season. Maine destroyed Rhode Island in game one 9-0 before dropping a pair of games, one to the Rams and one to Stony Brook, before rebounding on the back half of the doubleheader against the Seawolves with a 6-2 victory.

Black Bears pummel Rams 9-0 in front end of doubleheader

Maine’s second-year starting pitcher Molly Flowers picked up right where she left off from her last complete game one earned run outing, propelling the Black Bears to a 9-0 slaughtering on Wednesday afternoon at Rhode Island in the first game of the double header.

Flowers has been on fire lately and produced another phenomenal outing for the Black Bears, picking up the shutout victory, improving her record to 7-5 this year. Flowers threw 5.0 innings, allowing just three hits and fanned three Rhode Island batters. Third-year relief pitcher Nikki Misner came in the sixth inning to seal the deal with 2.0 shutout innings of work. Misner and the Maine defense held it down the last two innings of the game, completing the 9-0 Black Bears blowout victory.

The Black Bears offense cut right to the chase in game one of the double header, scoring three runs in the top of the first inning. First-year infielder Maddie Decker got the ball rolling for Maine as she reached on an error to score second-year right fielder Erika Leonard for the first run of the game. Third-year shortstop Felicia Lennon then ripped a single down the left field line to bring in two more Maine runs, extending the Black Bear lead to 3-0.

Lennon struck again in the top of the third inning on a two-run homer to push the Black Bears advantage to 5-0. In the fourth inning, third-year catcher Rachel Harvey kept the offense going when her hard hit single scored first-year second basemen Meghan Royle and second-year centerfielder Rachel Carlson to make it a 7-0 Black Bear lead.

Harvey and first-year third basemen Alyssa Derrick both added to the fun by both going deep for solo home runs in the top of the seventh to add on a couple more insurance runs for Maine, rounding out the scoring at nine on the first game of the double header.

Following the victory, the Black Bears improve to 11-11 on the season and the Rhode Island Rams see their record drop to 10-13.

Rams battle back to top Black Bears 10-9

In game two of the doubleheader it first looked as if it would be the same story between Maine and Rhode Island after the Black Bears jumped out to a first inning 3-0 lead. However, it ended up completely opposite of the first game as the Rhode Island Rams battled back from an early deficit and won the contest 10-9.

The Black Bears were swinging the bats well all game long, producing all types of offense with consistent base runners and timely hits. Unfortunately it was the Black Bears defense, recording four defensive errors that ultimately ended up costing them in such a closely contested game.

Derrick started off the scoring by reaching on a fielder’s choice that scored first-year third basemen Meghan Royle. Maine’s lead grew to three on back-to-back bases loaded walks by Carlson and third-year first basemen Maddie Moore.

Rhode Island answered with a run of their own thanks to a second-inning sacrifice-fly by second-year right fielder Paige Julich who batted in fourth-year first basemen Taylor Archer to cut the deficit to 3-1 after two innings.

Maine regained their three-run lead in the top of the third thanks to a Moore single down the line that brought in third-year catcher Rachel Harvey to put Maine ahead 4-1.

The Rams responded again with another one-run inning in the bottom of the third on an Archer RBI double to center field. Cutting the Maine lead back down to two again.

It seemed as if Maine would run away with this game easily after a three-run top of the fourth that put them on top 7-2. It was fourth-year catcher Janelle Bouchard who started off the rally with an RBI double to left. Bouchard was batted in shortly after by Derrick on an RBI single up the middle. First-year pinch runner Laurine German’s heads up baserunning scored the third run of the inning for Maine off of a wild pitch and the Black Bear lead climbed to 7-2.

There was no quit whatsoever in the Rams. Rhode Island went off for five runs in the bottom of the fourth and tied the game up at 7-7. Julich was back at the plate in the fourth, starting off the Rams comeback with a towering home run to center. Second-year third basemen Kylie Shivery was able to reach safely on a Maine error, which ended up costing them two more runs. This was followed by another Maine error, this time a throwing error that gave the Rams another two runs and allowing them to tie the game after four innings of play.

Maine regained their lead in the top of the sixth inning as they scored two more runs led by Lennon. Lennon drove in Harvey on an RBI double before coming around to score a run of her own on a Carlson groundout.

Rhode Island rallied one last time in the bottom half of the final inning for three runs. Julich drove in her third run of the game to chop down the Maine lead to just one run. Fourth-year shortstop Olivia Hendricks then singled to score Julich and tie the game up at 9-9. Third-year second baseman Ali Summers stepped up to the plate with the game on the line and played the role of hero by hitting the walk off RBI single to left field that completed the Rams epic comeback victory 10-9.

Maine let the game slip away late in tragic fashion at the end. Maine falls to 11-12 this season, while Rhode Island progresses to 10-13. The Black Bears will begin America East play when they travel to Stony Brook on Saturday for a doubleheader that starts at 1 p.m.

Stony Brook shuts out Maine 4-0

Maine opened up conference play at Stony Brook in a doubleheader on Saturday afternoon. The Black Bears lost game one of their Saturday doubleheader by the score of 4-0 to the Stony Brook Seawolves. Despite having 11 hits on the day and a Stony Brook error, Maine failed to cross home plate in the contest.

Stony Brook’s fourth-year starting pitched Jane Sallen wasn’t unsolvable on the day, but certainly good enough as she pitched 6.0 shutout innings against the Black Bears en route to her eighth win (8-10) on the season. Sallen allowed six hits, four walks and struck out three. Second-year closing pitcher Maddy Neales completed the shutout by pitching a quick one, two, three inning in the bottom of the seventh and earned the save for the Seawolves.

Flowers took home the loss for the Black Bears. Flowers hot streak came to an end on Saturday in the loss to Stony Brook. She hurled 4.0 innings, allowing four earned runs on six hits and three walks with only one strikeout. Flowers didn’t help her own cause out either on defense by recording the lone error on the afternoon for Maine. Second-year relief pitcher Annie Kennedy was very impressive in 2.0 innings of work by keeping the Seawolves bats quite the remainder of the game and not allowing a single base runner.

It was the Seawolves second-year third basemen Chelsea Evans who stole the show on a three-run home run to dead center in the bottom of the first inning. Evans put the Seawolves ahead by a comfortable margin and that proved to be all they needed to come out victorious. Fourth-year catcher Allie Pisciotta provided the other Seawolves RBI with a single to left field that scored fourth-year second basemen Patty Borges to put Stony Brook on top 4-0.

Maine’s second-year right fielder Erika Leonard was the lone bright spot on offense for the Black Bears in game one of the double-header. Leonard reached base three times as she went 2-for-3 with a walk. Her second hit was double to the left-center gap in the top of the sixth but the Black Bears offense failed to score her.

After dropping game one of the double-header Maine falls to 11-13 this season and 0-1 in America East play. Stony Brook’s overall record improves to 11-16 and 3-1 in America East action. The Black Bears look to get even with the Seawolves when the two teams square off for game two.

Maine rebounds in 6-2 victory

The University of Maine women’s softball team got revenge on the Stony Brook Seawolves in game two of their doubleheader on Saturday afternoon. The Black Bears all around team effort earned them a 6-2 victory in a game that got called early in six innings due to it being too dark outside to continue play.

Third-year pitcher Erin Bogdanovich was exceptional for the Black Bears leading in leading them to victory. Bogdanovich went the distance in this shortened six-inning game, allowing two earned runs on five hits and striking out five Stony Brook batters. It was a must win situation for both Bogdanovich as she came into this contest at 1-4 on the season, and she excelled under the pressure. She kept Stony Brook hitters honest all day by changing up types of pitches and hitting all different spots around the batter’s box. Hopefully she can carry her momentum from this outing into her next start.

It looked like a completely different team at the plate on the offensive end for Maine in the second game of the double-header as they saw a very well-rounded effort by their entire lineup.

Carlson, Bouchard and Derrick each had two hits for the Black Bears. Carlson and second-year right fielder Erika Leonard both had RBI doubles at crucial times for Maine, ultimately propelling them to victory. Leonard’s double in the top of the third proved to be the game winning hit, putting the Black Bears on top 3-2. Carlson’s double in the top of the sixth put the game out of reach for Stony Brook at 6-2 heading into the last half inning. The Maine bats rallied together nine hits and six RBI in total for the second game of the double-header.

Following the victory, the Black Bears are now 12-13 overall and 1-1 in America East play this season. Stony Brook drops to 11-17 this season and 3-2 in conference action. Maine will look to stay hot when they finally get to play their home opener on Thursday, April 7 in a double-header against Bryant with first pitch scheduled for 1 p.m.

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