BANGOR — University of Maine freshman right fielder Stef Martinek entered Wednesday’s softball game against Husson University looking for her first collegiate hit. She had just three official at-bats on the season when she stepped to the plate in the fifth inning.
Martinek drilled an 0-2 pitch into left-center field for an RBI double to trigger a four-run rally. That broke the game open and carried the Division I Black Bears to a 6-0 victory over their Division III neighbors in a well-played game at O’Keefe Field.
Maine (12-19) won its fourth straight and fifth in six games, while Husson, which hadn’t played since March 18, fell to 3-8.
Maine had taken a 1-0 lead with an unearned run in the fourth on one-out singles by Meghan McLain and Hilary Kane, an outfield error on Kane’s hit and a two-out passed ball.
“It felt really good,” said Martinek. “It was an outside fastball and I reached for it.”
Brynne Davis had led off the inning by pulling a ground ball single to right before Martinek knocked her in.
Jennifer Eberhardt lined an infield single off third baseman Becca McCarty’s glove, and starting pitcher Kody Lyon was replaced by Kelly Naegelin.
Naegelin induced a fly ball for the first out before Terren Hall loaded the bases by topping a 15-foot roller that went for a base hit.
McLain walked to force in a run and, one out later, Jillian Benson capped the rally by blooping a two-run single into left-center.
“It was an outside fastball and I stepped into it,” said Benson, whose two RBIs were her first of the year. “It was just a little poke. I wasn’t looking to hit a homer. I just wanted to get those girls in.”
Maine added an insurance run in the seventh on a walk to Eberhardt and Hall’s RBI double to right-center.
Sophomore righthander Beth Spoehr pitched the final four innings in relief of freshman righty Kylie Sparks to pick up the win.
Spoehr allowed just one hit while striking out seven and walking two. She threw 64 pitches, 37 of which were strikes.
“I was excited. It gave me a chance to work on my pitches and get my confidence up for (Boston University) this weekend,” said Spoehr. “I had been working a lot on my changeup, and it was actually pretty successful against Husson.”
Sparks threw three innings of two-hit ball, striking out two and not walking anybody. She threw 18 strikes among her 32 pitches.
“Their pitchers were pretty good,” said freshman Naegelin. “The second one had a lot of speed. Coming from an offspeed pitcher (like Sparks) to her was a little bit challenging.”
“We played well,” said Husson coach Amanda Davey. “Our pitchers held up pretty well and our defense did well. We just didn’t get any timely hits.”
Lyon and Naegelin both turned in good stints.
Lyon allowed seven hits and four runs, three earned, while striking out three and not walking anyone. Naegelin surrendered three hits and two runs over three innings with two walks and no strikeouts.
Bucksport’s Hall and Orrington’s McLain each had two hits for the Black Bears. Husson received a first-inning double from Aimee Mortensen, a second-inning single from Naegelin and a seventh-inning base hit from Lona Sargent.
There was only one error committed in the game.