|Eastern Connecticut State University||University of Southern Maine|
GORHAM, Maine – Junior Courtney Davis (Woburn, Maine) came through in the clutch deliving a pair of walk off RBI hits to lead the University of Southern Maine Huskies to a sweep of the Eastern Connecticut State University Warriors in a Little East Conference doubleheader Saturday afternoon during the Grand Opening Ceremony of the USM Softball Stadium. Southern Maine defeated ECSU 4-3 in game one, and then earned an 11-3 eight-run mercy rule victory in five innings in game two.
Southern Maine is now 7-5 in the Little East Conference, and 15-14 overall. Eastern Connecticut stands at 6-6.
GAME ONE: Southern Maine 4, Eastern Connecticut 3
Despite leading Eastern Connecticut 2-0 through six innings, Southern Maine found itself trailing the Warriors by a run in its final at bat after a tough top of the seventh. With an outstanding pitching effort from freshman Madison Greene (Moultonborough, N.H.), USM struck first to lead ECSU 1-0 after the third on an RBI single to left center from senior Allison Pillar (Buxton, Maine/Bonny Eagle). Pillar’s RBI scored junior Taylor Lux (Arundel, Maine/Thornton Academy) who led off the inning with a double, and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt from senior Mary Caron (Lewiston, Maine/St. Dominic’s Academy).
With Greene holding the ECSU bats at bay, USM doubled its advantage to 2-0 in the bottom of the sixth on a solo home run from sophomore Brooke Cross (Saco, Maine/Thorton Academy). Cross’ lead off home run, which cleared the center field fence, was her third of the season.
ECSU did not go quietly however. After issuing a lead off single to junior Jessica Seymour (Barkhamsted, Conn.) to start the inning, Greene forced a infield pop up to make it one out and a runner at first. A wild pitch put Seymour at second, before freshman Teresa Marchitto (Orange, Conn.) broke up the shut out with an RBI single through the left side to score Seymour, making it a 2-1 USM lead. The Huskies earned the second out of the inning, cutting down the lead runner on a ground out, before committing a throwing error on the next play, which would have been the final out. With new life, Freshman Sara Pisanell (Wellingford, Conn.) blasted a two-run double to the left field gap for a 3-2 ECSU lead. Greene bounced back for the Huskies getting the final out on a line out to third, but was left on the hook with a 3-2 deficit despite giving up just a single earned run.
Facing their final three outs, USM responded. Senior Danni Humphrey (Walnut Creek, Calif.) led off the inning with a single through the left side, and pinch runner freshman Julianna Cleaves (Bar Harbor, Maine/Mount Desert Island) moved into scoring position with a stolen base. Lux legged out an infield single moving Cleaves to third, before Caron tied the game up with a double down the left field line to plate Cleaves and put Lux at third. With no outs and runners on first and third, ECSU lifted relief pitcher senior Samantha Valentine (Ridge, N.Y./Longwood) in favor of freshman Morgan Sanson (Thomaston, Conn.) to face Davis. Davis, who had been 0-2 on the day, stepped in and knocked a single to center field to bring home Lux for the win.
Greene earned her fifth straight win to improve to 6-1 on the season for the Huskies. She went seven innings allowing three runs (one earned) on seven hits. She struck out two and did not walk a batter in the victory. Valentine took the loss for ECSU allowing two earned runs on three hits. Freshman Jacky Arndt (Chelmsford, Mass.) pitched the first six innings for the Warriors, allowing two earned runs on four hits and two walks, while striking out three.