|University at Albany||University of Maine|
ALBANY, N.Y. – Despite Kristen Niland’s first home run of the season, the Maine Black Bears could not prevent a UAlbany comeback, falling to the Great Danes 3-2 in eight innings on Saturday afternoon at Albany Field. The loss snapped Maine’s five-game winning streak.
Annie Kennedy (6-3) put together an impressive performance on the mound for the Black Bears (12-15). In seven innings pitched, the senior allowed just two runs and six hits, while striking out six batters. She let up just one extra base hit on the day, along with a issuing a single walk. The sixth inning base on balls was the first walk she allowed in 36 innings.
UAlbany’s Celeste Verdolivo (7-1) pitched all eight innings for the Great Danes (15-8), earning the win.
Erika Leonard and Maddie Decker both went 3-4 from the batters box, while Nilan, Rachel Carlson and Sarah Coyne each added a hit in the contest.
Maine put two runners on in the first inning to start the game, but could not capitalize on the opportunity. Kennedy retired the Great Danes down in order during the first two innings, before allowing a single in the third frame. UAlbany was unable to advance the runner however, as Kennedy struck out the final batter of the frame for the third out.
With one out in the top of the fourth inning, Decker ripped her first of three hits of the contest. After a Maine strikeout, Niland drove her first home run of the season to left field for 2 RBI’s to give Maine a 2-0 advantage.
In the bottom of the sixth, UAlbany put runners on first and second off a single and a walk, and Chelsea Heinge drove both runners home on the Great Danes’ lone extra-base hit of the contest to tie the game at two runs apiece. Kennedy settled down after the double, earning a ground out, a strike out and a line out to escape the frame without any more damage.
The two squads went scoreless in the seventh, as Coyne singled the lone hit of the inning for Maine, while the Great Danes went down in order, which forced extra innings.
In the top of the eighth, Maine had runners on the corners after singles from Carlson and Decker with one out, but the Black Bears failed to score after a runner was thrown out at home.
Kyleigh O’Donnell (2-6) went to mound in the bottom of the eighth, as Maine allowed the first two runners on bases after two errors to start the inning. O’Donnell struck out the next Great Dane, but UAlbany scored the game-winning run the on a single by the following batter.
The double-header originally scheduled for today, has been moved to tomorrow. Sunday’s first game will start at noon, and will be followed by the third and final game of the series.