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UMaine Softball drops first two games of weekend set

After dropping the first game of the doubleheader 10-7, in the second game, the University of Maine Black Bears softball team fell to the UMBC Retrievers 8-7.

Graduate pitcher Isabelle True started the game on the mound for the Black Bears, first-year outfielder Ella Squaires was the first batter up for UMBC and reached first base off a throwing error. After stealing second and then advancing to third off another UMaine error, Squaires scored the first run of the game off a flyout by first-year infielder Haley Luginbill.

After retiring the side, UMaine second-year infielder Krista Francia was walked by third-year pitcher Kya Matter. An error by Matter led to third-year Katie Jo Moery reaching first base and Francia advanced to third. Another error, this time by the UMBC catcher, allowed Moery to steal second and Francia to score the tying run. Third-year outfield Gabby Papushka got the first UMaine hit of the game with a single, but Matter closed the inning with a strikeout.

UMBC retook the lead off with an RBI by second-year infielder Emily Riggs and then extended it with an RBI single by Squaires. The hits kept coming in the third inning for the Retrievers. With two on, first-year infielder Amya Lundy brought in a runner with a single into center field. Two more runs were scored with a single by Matter, giving UMBC a 6-1 lead. The Black Bears continued to struggle, as UMBC kept their momentum in the top of the fourth, scoring two additional runs.

UMaine finally got things going in the bottom of the sixth. Fourth-year infielder Anna Margetis kicked off the inning with a hard hit single to center field. They followed that with back-to-back singles by Francia and Moery. With the bases loaded, graduate designated hitter Caitlyn Fallon stepped up to plate and absolutely cracked a ball down the middle towards left center field and over the fence, an incredible grand slam to make it a 8-5 game bottom of the 6th inning.

After holding UMBC scoreless in the top of the 7th inning, the Black Bears had one final chance to either win or send the game to extra innings. It started off strong for Maine with fourth-year catcher Kennedy Priest, who was pinch hitting, singled up the middle. Second-year outfielder Maggie Helms then doubled to right center field. UMBC brought in first-year pitcher Isabella DiGiandomenico to relieve Matter, who had pitched a great game and earned her 8th win of the season.

With runners on second and third base, Maine’s comeback hopes were dwindling after the next two batters were retired. Now with two outs and the game on the line, Moery showed up in the clutch and singled, bringing both third-year outfielder Kyrah Haba-Dailey (pinch running for Priest) and Helms home to make the score 8-7. Unfortunately, for UMaine, DiGiandomenico closed the side and the game with a strikeout to give UMBC the win. 

UMaine will host UMBC on Sunday in their final regular season America East home game of the year at the UMaine Softball Complex.

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