|Allegheny College||University of Southern Maine|
CLERMONT, Fla. – Senior Mary Caron (Lewiston, Maine/St. Dominic Academy) went 5-for-8 at the plate to highlight a pair of losses for the University of Southern Maine Huskies’ softball team. Southern Maine fell in extra-innings 4-3 to the Allegheny College Gators and then fell 6-2 to the Hendrix College Warriors.
With the pair of losses Southern Maine stands at 5-5 through its opening 10 games of the season. Allegheny improved to 3-8 with its extra-innings win over the Huskies, while Hendrix evens its record out to 12-12.
GAME ONE: Allegheny 4, Southern Maine 3 – Eight Innings
Trailing 3-1 in the bottom of the eighth, Allegheny sophomore Jessica Valerino (Liverpool, N.Y.) stroked a two-run double to left field for the walk-off to lead the Gators to a 4-3 win over the Huskies. The hit was the first of the game for Valerino, who finished the game 1-for-3 at the plate.
Allegheny sophomore Kala Mahen (Mercer, Pa.) earned the win in the circle going the full eight innings. She allowed three runs (one earned) on six hits and a one walk. Mahen struck out three. Southern Maine freshman Alexis Brown (Malden, Mass.) started the game, and pitched 5.1 innings. Brown turned in a strong performance allowing one run (unearned) on four hits and a walk. Brown recorded five strikeouts before being lifted for junior Haeli Campbell (Manchester, N.H./Goffstown). Campbell took the loss for USM pitching 2.1 innings, allowing three runs (two earned) on three hits, while striking out four.
In a scoreless game, Southern Maine to a 1-0 lead in the top of the fifth on a sacrifice fly RBI from junior Taylor Lux (Arundel, Maine/Thornton Academy). Lux drove in Campbell, who led off the inning reaching safely via an Allegheny fielding error. Campbell advanced to third after a pinch-hit single to center field from freshman Tabatha Hirsch (Coral Springs, Fla./South Plantation), and a hit batsmen.
USM remained in front of the Gators until the bottom of the sixth when the Huskies’ yielded an unearned run. After back-to-back one-out singles from Jessica Gordon (Pittsburgh, Pa.) and Jessica Zavolta (Level Green, Pa.), Gordon came around to score on a passed ball. Campbell entered the game for Brown after the passed ball and recorded the final two outs.
The game remained tied through seven innings, and the Huskies struck first in the top of the eight. With USM’s Lux was placed on second for NCAA tie-breaking procedures to start the inning, Caron led off the innings for the Huskies with a triple to the right field gap for an RBI. Caron scored the second run of the game on an RBI sacrifice bunt from senior Shelby Obert (Norridgewock, Maine/Skowhegan) for a 3-1 USM lead heading into the bottom of the eighth.
In the Allegheny half of the inning, USM recorded the first out on a pop up, before Paige Blinkiewicz (Kalamazoo, Mich.) singled to center for an RBI to score the Gators’ runner on second. Gordon lined out to centerfield to make it a 3-2 USM lead with two outs, before Zavolta singled to third base to give Allegheny runners on first and third with two outs, setting up Valerino’s game-winning double.