BANGOR, Maine — It looked like Husson University’s softball team would have a fight on its hands during Wednesday afternoon’s doubleheader after the University of Maine-Farmington scored two runs in the top of the first inning.
They did, but Husson also got production up and down its batting order and combined a potent offense with solid pitching to sweep the UMF Beavers 8-5 and 7-4 at O’Keefe Field.
The sweep improved the Eagles record to 14-12 overall, but more importantly kept them unbeaten in North Atlantic Conference play at 6-0.
“I think the number one thing is we’re really playing together,” said Husson head coach Amanda Davey. “The energy’s good on the field and on the bench, and the hitting is contagious.”
Indeed it is. The Eagles hit a combined .500 (14-for-28) in the first game and .392 overall in the doubleheader.
Outfielder/designated hitter Dottie Cameron led the onslaught, going 5-for-8 with a triple, double, three singles, three RBIs (all in the second game), and two runs scored.
“Hitting is very contagious. Our lineup is unstoppable when we’re going well. I don’t think we have a lot of holes in the order,” Cameron said. “One of our goals this year is to get our timing down and get on the pitcher early. We want to get off to better starts.”
While it took an inning longer in the second game, the Eagles did just that. The Beavers scored first in each game, but Husson answered UMF’s two-run start in the first game with three in the second and plated four in the third inning of game two after UMF went up 1-0 in the second inning.
In both games, UMF got its first runs via home runs from the same hitter. Freshman Kaitlyn Bartlett of Chesterville hit a two-run shot to deep center in the first game and belted a solo shot to left in the second.
In the first game, No. 5 hitter Megan Richard got the Eagles going with a leadoff double in the second and scored on a single by Sarah Risser of Brewer. Two outs later, No. 9 hitter Brianna Webster scored Risser with a double to left center and Courtney Hill followed with an RBI single to shallow left to put Husson up 3-2.
The Eagles tacked on two more runs in the fourth on another Webster RBI double and Cassie Berry’s sacrifice fly, and scored another run in the fourth via a home run to left center by Richard.
“That’s the key. Normally we’ve had our one through five batters going well, but now it’s one through nine,” Davey said. “All their pitchers threw pretty well. We got a couple of key hits early on and that led us well throughout both games.”
The Beavers took advantage of two Husson errors in the sixth and scored three unearned runs, two coming in via Kasey McPhail’s two-out double down the left field line, to make it a one-run game (6-5).
Husson got two more in the sixth on a one-out single by Cameron, an RBI double by Berry, and an RBI single by Nicole Sargent.
Sargent (4-5) was also stellar in the circle, throwing five innings of five-hit ball while striking out four batters and walking two. Freshman Kody Lyon came in and allowed two hits over the last two innings to get her first save.
In the second game, Lyon continued her solid pitching, this time earning a win to improve to 6-6 on the season.
Lyon allowed just five hits, one walk and one earned run in seven innings while notching five strikeouts.
“We already planned to have her start the second game,” Davey said. “She did a great job and Sargent threw really well for those first five innings.”
Husson’s big inning offensively was led off by Megan Bradstreet’s leadoff walk in the third. Kristen Sousa reached on an error and Cameron brought them home with a triple down the left field line before scoring on a Berry groundout.
That looked like all the runs Lyon would need, but fortunately for Husson, the Eagles weren’t done. Diann Ramsey blasted a solo shot to left that hit Husson Avenue on the fly and landed in a driveway across the street on one bounce. Two more runs came via two UMF errors and a Cameron RBI double in the sixth.
Again, the Beavers made Husson pay for defensive miscues with three runs — all unearned — in the seventh off three Husson errors and no hits, but Lyon ended the game with a strikeout.
Davey said the Eagles’ enthusiasm and mental makeup is the big reason for their nine-game winning streak.
“That’s really changed over the course of the last three weeks,” she explained. “We weren’t loud and playing as competitive and tough as we should. I think we were expecting to just show up and play.”
Cassandra Dyer led the 4-8 Beavers with two hits in the second game.