BANGOR — Amanda Ryan gave up only one hit in five innings and Kayla Merrill drove in five runs as the Husson University Eagles beat the Johnston State Badgers 8-0 in five innings in first-round action of the North Atlantic Conference softball tourney Friday at O’Keefe Field.
Ryan (10-6) struck out seven and didn’t walk a batter and received support from Merrill who blasted a two-run triple in the third inning and three-run home run in Husson’s six-run sixth inning.
Breanna Martin chipped in with two singles for Husson (26-9) and Jess Poulin added a single and two RBIs.
Alex Bean singled for the Badgers.
In other tourney action, Thomas shut out UMaine-Farmington 6-0 and Castleton State blanked Lyndon State 5-0.
Husson will take on UMF at 10 a.m. Saturday in the double-elimination tourney and Castleton will battle Thomas at noon.
Kelsey Crowe (9-6) scattered eight hits while walking two and striking out three for Thomas (15-14-1).
Korrie Laren sparked the offense with two singles and three RBIs and Taylor Bergeron singled twice and drove in a run.
Hannah Lust went 3-for-3 for UMF (14-13).
Kayla Wood (5-4) turned in a strong pitching effort for Castleton (14-13) as she gave up only one hit and a walk while striking out nine.
At Smithfield, Rhode Island, Hannah Hill pitched a one-hit shutout to give Maine a 2-0 victory over Bryant in the second game of a doubleheader.
Bryant won the first game 7-1.
Hill allowed just one bunt single while striking out eight for her ninth win of the season.
Maine scored its two runs in the second when Maddie Moore cranked a two-run home run, scoring Rachel Harvey, who had singled.
Bryant scored four runs in the first inning in the first game and Elle Madsen (22-9) earned the win as she scattered eight hits with five strikeouts.
Jessica Burk hit a solo home run for the Bears, who finished at 18-19.
At Castleton, Vt., Tim Nason (6-0) scattered six hits, walked only one and struck out two to help Husson beat UMaine-Farmington in the North Atlantic Conference playoff opener.
J.T. Whitten sparked the Eagles (25-13) with three singles and two RBIs. Dennis Meehan chipped in with two singles and three RBIs and Jordan Carter also drove in two runs.
Tom Grady reached Nason for a solo home run in the second inning for UMF (13-21).
In other tourney action, Castleton State beat Lyndon State 7-2.
On Saturday, Lyndon will take on UMF at 9 a.m. in the double-elimination tourney, followed by Castleton vs. Husson at noon. An elimination game is set for 3 p.m. with the championship-round games set for 10 a.m. Sunday.
At Waltham, Massachusetts, Jason Buco had a three-run home run in the first inning and three Colby College pitchers threw well to lift the Mules to the victory.
Colin Cummings led off with a single and moved to third on a double by Ryder Arsenault. Buco came up third and smacked his team-best sixth homer of the season for a 3-0 lead for Colby (16-13).
Scott Goldberg threw six innings, struck out five, and walked two in moving his record to 4-2 this season. He allowed two earned runs on a single run in the fourth and fifth innings.
At Gorham, senior Nick Ververis had five hits, scored five times and drove in five runs over two games as the Eastern Connecticut State University Warriors swept the University of Southern Maine Huskies, 15-9 and 8-4, in a Little East Conference doubleheader.
With the sweep, the Warriors stretch their winning streak to five games and improved their overall record to 27-7. The Huskies had their four-game winning streak stopped and slip to 28-10. The two teams finished the LEC slate with identical 11-3 records to share the regular season title. By virtue of the tiebreaker (head-to-head results), the Warriors will be the top seed and host next week’s six-team, double-elimination championship tournament.
In the opening game, the Warriors jumped out to a 12-1 lead in the opening three innings taking advantage of a couple of fielding miscues for nine unearned runs. The Warriors pounded out 16 hits against seven USM hurlers.
With a one-game, winner-take-all situation for the right to host the LEC tournament, the Warriors used a timely three-run homer from Ververis to break open a tight game and held off the Huskies in the nightcap.