|University of Maine||University at Albany|
ALBANY, N.Y. – Holding a 4-3 lead heading into the bottom of the seventh inning, the Maine Black Bears held off a late comeback attempt by UAlbany, defeating the Great Danes 4-3 on Saturday to split the two-game series at Albany Field.
Kayleigh O’Donnell (3-6) earned the win for the Black Bears (13-15, 4-1 AE), pitching six-plus innings, while allowing just three runs and six hits, while striking out two and walking three.
In relief, Annie Kennedy earned her third save of the season, allowing just a hit and walk in the seventh inning to close the door on the Great Dane (15-9, 3-2 AE).
After hitting a homerun yesterday, Kristen Niland put together another solid performance from the plate, earning RBIs on a double and drawing a walk when the bases were loaded. Sarah Coyne also hit a double, while Rachel Carlson, Maddie Decker and Alyssa Derrick all hit singles on the day.
Maine got off to a hot start offensively, scoring three runs in the top of the first to jump to a 3-0 advantage. Despite scoring three runs, the Black Bears only had one hit in the frame, as Decker singled to left field which scored Leonard and advanced Carlson to third on the play. Derrick and Niland drew back-to-back walk, which scored Carlson for the second run of the inning. Meghan Royle drove a sacrifice fly to left field to score the third run.
O’Donnell set the side down in order in the first and allowed just one base runner in the second inning on a walk. The Great Danes cut the Black Bear lead to 3-2 after scoring two runs on two hits in the bottom of the third.
Both squads tallied a hit in the fourth frame, but neither team could score. Coyne doubled to center field and the Black Bears had runners on second and third base, but Maine failed to add a run to its lead.
Carlson started the top of the fifth with a bunt single, and eventually stole second. Niland smacked a double to right field to boost Maine’s lead to 4-2.
The Great Danes opened the bottom of the sixth with a double, and the runner ensued to score on a single in the inning. O’Donnell settled down and made a spectacular diving catch on a pop out to get out of the inning with out any additional damage.
The Black Bears went down in order in the top of the seventh. After O’Donnell issued a walk on the first batter in the bottom of the seventh, Kennedy came into the game to pitch. UAlbany was able to get the game-tying runner on third and the winning runner on first, but Kennedy forced a ground out with two outs for Maine’s 13th win and fourth America East victory in five games.
The second game of the University of Maine softball doubleheader against UAlbany on Sunday was canceled due to weather conditions. No makeup date for the game has been scheduled at this point.
The Black Bears are back in action on Wednesday, April 11 for a home opener doubleheader against UMass Lowell. Game one at Kessock Field is scheduled to start at 2:00 p.m., followed by game two at 4:30 p.m.