BANGOR, Maine — The Husson University softball team is on a roll. To say the least.
The Eagles will enter Friday’s North Atlantic Conference doubleheader at New England College riding an 18-game unbeaten streak (17-0-1).
They are 21-8-1 overall, 12-0 in the NAC.
New England College, located in Henniker, N.H., is the Eagles’ closest pursuer with a 10-2 conference record. The Pilgrims are 14-13 overall.
“I knew we were going to have a pretty solid team. But the key has been the depth. I’ve never had this kind of depth,” said seventh-year Husson coach Amanda Bourgoin. “We have 20 players and they’re all helping us.
“Everybody has bought into their roles. They’ve come to terms with the fact they can’t play seven innings every day. They’re unselfish,” said Bourgoin, who added they have a team-comes-first attitude.
“We’ve all been focused,” said senior shortstop Aimee Mortensen of Biddeford. “We have the big picture in mind. We have a lot of girls we can use and [Bourgoin] can trust everyone in the lineup. She can call on anyone and they’ll come in and produce.”
The Eagles are hitting. 337 and are averaging 9.3 runs per game. They have made just 33 errors in 30 games. Mortensen has made only one error in 112 chances.
“We’ve played great defense and Aimee’s a great shortstop,” said Bourgoin.
Their team earned run average is 2.56 and their pitchers have allowed only four home runs in 185 2/3 innings with 115 strikeouts and 47 walks.
Offensively, Hermon freshman Sami Schultz has led the way. The designated player is hitting .491 and also leads the team in homers (3) and runs batted in (24). Senior right fielder Courtney Hill of Calais is hitting. 382 with a team-high 19 stolen bases.
Sophomore left fielder Kayla Merrill of Bethel is hitting .373 with 19 RBIs and 11 stolen bases, Mortensen is at .372 with a homer and 18 RBIs and Levant first baseman Deb Colpitts is hitting .361 with 15 RBIs. Senior center fielder Lona Sargent of Sullivan (.329-1 HR-15 RBIs, 10 SB) and sophomore catcher Heidi Shaw of Manchester and Maranacook High School in Readfield (.324-1-15) are the other regulars hitting over .300.
Shaw has done an excellent job behind the plate and thrown out a number of runners, said Bourgoin.
The other starters are Belfast sophomore 3B Victoria Overlock (.267-1-10 and sophomore second baseman Melissa Souza (.222-1-11). Bourgoin considers Souza the team’s most improved player.
Colpitts has been sidelined with a concussion so freshman Lyndsey Merrill (.344-1-18), Kayla’s sister, has been sharing the first base job with sophomore Kelsey Livermore (.255-0-6) of Kennebunk. Colpitts is expected back next week, according to Bougoin.
Sophomore outfielder Haley Spiers has hit .262 and driven in 10 runs off the bench and freshman infielder Breanna Martin of Oxford has knocked in nine and hit .385. Both have homered.
Skowhegan junior Becca McCarty headlines the pitching staff. She is 8-3 with a 2.35 ERA. Brewer junior Amanda Ryan (5-3, 2.75 ERA) and Colpitts (3-0, 3.59) are other contributors while Kayla Merrill (3-1, 2.21) and Caribou freshman Emily Staples (2-0, 0.00) have also seen mound duty.
“Our pitchers have been great,” said Mortensen, who added that the coaching staff of Bourgoin, Lee Speronis, Terry Hall, Ashley Kelley and Dottie Cameron has done an outstanding job.
Mortensen had the pleasure of catching the ceremonial first pitch from her mother, Joanna, during cancer awareness day on Sunday. Her mother is a cancer survivor.
“It was a very special day,” Mortensen said.
The Eagles have won four straight NAC tournament titles and have earned the automatic berth to the NCAA Division III regionals.
They are hoping to make it five straight to give themselves a chance to win their first NCAA tournament game.
“We’re taking it one game at a time. As long as everyone stays focused and keep doing what they’ve been doing, we have high hopes the next couple of weeks,” said Mortensen.