|University of Maine||University of Hartford|
W. HARTFORD, Conn. – The University of Maine softball team began America East play at 2-0 after sweeping its conference opening doubleheader at Hartford, winning game one 5-2 before taking game two, 2-0 in eight innings.
The victories lift Maine to 11-14 on the season while the Hawks fall to 6-13. The Black Bears have now won 13 consecutive games against the Hawks.
Sarah Coyne and Erika Leonard each tallied three hits on the day.
In game one, Annie Kennedy picked up her fifth win of the season after carrying a shutout into the seventh inning. Kennedy, who fanned five in the win, surrendered a pair of runs in the final frame, as the Black Bears were able to hang on for a 5-2 victory.
Laurine German went 2-for-4 with a triple and three RBI while Alyssa Derrick blasted her third home run of the season to lead the offense.
The Black Bears plated single runs in the third and fourth to take a 2-0 lead. In the top of the third, Shanna Scribner was hit by a pitch to start the inning. Scribner stole second, advanced to third on a groundout before later scoring German’s bunt.
Maine added its second run of the day when Derrick led off the fourth with a solo shot to right center.
The lead swelled to 5-0 as Maine pushed across three more in the sixth. With two away in the inning, Coyne singled through the right side, advanced to second on a Scribner walk and came in on Leonard’s single. German followed, stroking a triple to the gap in right center to score Scribner and Leonard.
Amber Mianti’s two-run home run in the seventh cut the lead to 5-2. Molly Flowers came on in relief to record the final two outs, locking up the victory for the Black Bears.
In game two, Maddie Decker’s suicide squeeze in the eighth broke a scoreless tie as Leonard came in with the eventual winning run. The Black Bears tacked on another in the eighth before taking the contest, 2-0.
The Black Bears received another fantastic pitching line from its starter, as Kyleigh O’Donnell earned the no decision after tossing six innings of shutout ball, surrendering just two hits while fanning six. Molly Flowers came on in relief to earn the win, pitching two innings with two hits and a pair of strikeouts.
With neither team able to plate a run through seven, the game would enter the eighth deadlocked at 0-0.
In the eighth, Leonard began the frame with a single down the line in right. German’s sacrifice bunt moved Leonard along to second before Carlson’s single to left gave Maine runners at the corners. Decker squeezed in Leonard with the go ahead run before Derrick’s sacrifice fly to center allowed Carlson to tag and score the second run of the inning.
Hartford was able to put two on in the bottom of the inning but a ground ball to third ended the game, giving Maine the 2-0 victory and doubleheader sweep.
The two teams close the weekend series on Sunday at 11 a.m.