|University of Maine||Bucknell|
Wilmington, N.C. — The University of Maine softball team split its opening-day doubleheader, winning game one 11-1 over Bucknell before dropping game two of the afternoon at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, 3-1.
Senior Rachel Carlson paved the way for Maine’s offense, recording four hits including a double while driving in three. Kristen Niland, Alyssa Derrick and Maddie Deck eached added a pair of hits while Derrick also knocked in three.
In game one, Maine put together three run innings in the first, fourth and sixth innings on its way to a 11-1 victory in six-innings over Bucknell in the season opener. Maine, which blasted 11 hits against the Bison, were led by Derrick who went 2-for-3 with a double and three RBI. Carlson added three RBI out of the leadoff spot while Niland went 2-for-2 with a pair of runs scored.
The Black Bears used four pitchers over the span of six innings. Molly Flowers received the start, fanning four over two innings of no-hit action. Lilly Volk made her Maine debut with an inning of work, striking out one and giving up no hits. Fellow freshman Kyleigh O’Donnell chipped in two shutout innings and Annie Kennedy closed the door with a strikeout in an inning of work.
Maine opened the contest with three runs in the top of the first. Back-to-back doubles from Erika Leonard and Derrick plated the first run before Decker’s triple down the line in right brought in Derrick from second. Meghan Royle’s single through the right side gave the Black Bears a three-run lead when Decker trotted in from third.
The Black Bears extended their lead to 6-0 with three more runs in the top of the fourth. Shanna Scribner’s first career hit gave Maine runners on first and second before Sarah Coyne’s infield single loaded the bases. Carlson slapped a single through the right side, scoring Laurine German from third. The rally continued when Leonard and Derrick each drew bases loaded walks, stretching Maine’s lead to six.
Bucknell got on the board with a single run in the fourth but the Black Bears answered, pushing across two more runs in the top of the fifth.
With the bases loaded and one out, Carlson grounded out to the pitcher, allowing Niland to sprint in the backdoor from third. Maine’s lead swelled to 8-1 when Derrick drove in another run with a sharp single to short.
The Black Bears put the game out of reach with three runs in the sixth. One out walks from Niland and German began the rally before Scribner reached on an error. Coyne also reached on an error by Bucknell’s pitcher which allowed German and Niland to both score. Carlson again grounded into a productive out when her dribbler brought in Scribner from third, eventually leading to Maine’s 11-1 victory.