ORONO, Maine — The University of Albany Great Danes jumped out to a pair of 5-0 leads and rode the right arm of junior ace Brittany MacFawn to a 5-2, 8-4 sweep of the University of Maine Black Bears at Kessock Field Sunday afternoon.
Albany extended its winning streak to 13 games and improved to 18-7 overall, 5-0 in America East. Maine fell to 5-28 and 2-3, respectively.
The teams will conclude their three-game series at 1 p.m. Monday.
Standout right-hander MacFawn, a native of Orlando, Fla., tossed a six-hit complete game in the opener with nine strikeout and no walks. She threw 87 strikes among her 123 pitches.
In the second game, she relieved Emily Ostrom in the fifth inning and threw 2 2/3 innings of no-hit ball to notch the save. She struck out four and walked one.
“Coming out and getting leads makes a huge difference,” said MacFawn.
“We got behind a lot in our spring trip games so we’re used to it. We battled back and got a few runs but we can’t start games that way,” said Maine coach Lynn Coutts.
The Great Danes built their five-run lead in the opener with three first-inning runs and two more in the second off Maine starter Hannah Hill.
Two one-out walks triggered the first-inning rally.
Charlise Castro punched a two-out single to right to deliver the first run. Castro tried to steal second as part of a double steal and was called out initially. However, shortstop Makaila Kowalsky dropped the ball so Castro was safe and a run scored.
Kelly Costello grounded a sharp RBI single to center to cap the rally.
In the second, Albany’s Lauren Alcorn singled and Vicky McFarland belted her fifth homer of the season, an opposite-field shot to right.
“It was a high and outside curve and I went with it,” said McFarland.
“I hung it up a little bit and she got a good piece of it. It was a great swing by her,” said Hill.
Fryeburg’s Hill settled down and pitched five-hit shutout ball the rest of the way. She finished with nine strikeouts and two walks.
She also figured in both Maine runs, doubling and scoring on pinch-hitter Katlin Norton’s single in the fifth before tomahawking a line drive homer to center in the seventh for her second of the season.
“It felt good coming off the bat,” said Hill.
McFarland and Castro had two hits each for Albany and Hill had two for Maine. Chelsea Kunin tripled for Maine and Jean Stevens doubled.
In the second game, Albany scored five times in the first off Kylie Sparks with Castro’s three-run blast highlighting the rally.
McFarland roped the game’s first pitch for a double, Annie Johnson reached on a bunt single and stole second and McFarland scored on Maggie Cocks’ sacrifice fly which was dropped by center fielder Steph Wood, allowing a second run to score.
Following a walk, Castro launched her fifth homer of the season to center.
“I had to drop down a little bit [to hit it]. It felt good. I haven’t hit one in a while,” said Castro.
Maine got one back in the bottom of the first on doubles by Kowalsky and Stevens but, in the second, Cocks chased Sparks with a two-run single as the Great Danes expanded the lead to 7-1.
South Portland’s Alexis Bogdanovich came on in relief and hurled six impressive innings of three-hit, one-run relief with five strikeouts and two walks.
“I knew I had nothing to lose so I just hit my spots and made them put it in play,” said Bogdanovich.
Maine got two runs back in the second on a Wood double, two walks and EmJ Fogel’s two-run single to center.
Alcorn homered to right center in the fifth made it 8-3 but Fogel’s single and Hilary Kane’s RBI double cut it to 8-4 in the fifth before MacFawn was summoned.
“We had a tough time against [MacFawn] last year. She’s a strong pitcher. She pitches to our weaknesses. She has a good breaking ball,” said Kane.
Cocks had two hits and three RBIs and Johnson singled twice to pace Albany along with the homers by Castro and Alcorn.
Fogel had two singles and two RBIs for Maine.