May 24, 2018
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UMaine softball team fails in bid for league playoff berth


ORONO, Maine — The Hartford Hawks ended the Maine softball team’s bid for the final America East berth Sunday when it shut out the Black Bears 2-0 at Kessock Field.

The Bears split a Saturday doubleheader, winning the first game 6-5, but losing the second 8-6 to leave Sunday to determine its playoff fate.

Kaitlyn Meade (5-15) shut down the Bears Sunday as she allowed only four hits, walked one and struck out one.

Maine pitcher Beth Spoehr (9-12) turned in a solid effort in the defeat as she scattered seven hits and struck out six, but walked three.

The Hawks reached Spoehr for both of their runs in the second when Nicole Springer led off with a double and scored when Melani Maxwell tripled down the right-field line. Maxwell then scored when Genevieve Morneau-Valliancourt grounded out to second.

Seniors Terren Hall and Kali Burnham each singled in their final game for the Bears and Meghan McLain and Lindsey Jenkins each added a single.

Maine finished with an 18-31 overall record and 7-10 in America East while Hartford finished at 11-33 and 4-14, respectively.

In Saturday’s first game, Hall of Bucksport paced the UMaine offense with a home run, a single and four RBIs. She hit a two-run single in the first inning and stroked a  two-run homer in the second inning to plate what proved to be the winning run.

Jennifer Eberhardt smacked a solo home run and a double for the Bears and Hilary Kane singled twice and posted an RBI. Spoehr and Ashley Kelley (save) combined to scatter eight hits.

Nicole Springer doubled twice, singled and knocked in three runs for Hartford. Melani Maxwell singled twice with two RBIs and Shannon Simpkins added two singles.

The Hawks threatened to tie it in the sixth on a single by Springer, Kate Wacyk’s double and a two-run single from Maxwell. However, Kelley came on in relief and got the next two batters to keep UMaine on top.

In the second game, Hartford scored three unearned runs in the sixth inning to take the lead for good.

Chelsey Mooney and Morneau-Vaillancourt opened with singles off losing pitcher Kelley of Hermon, who allowed 13 hits. Both moved up on a sacrifice bunt, before two runs scored when right fielder Lindsey Jenkins dropped a fly ball by Amber Andrews.

One out later, Jordan Haines delivered the third run with another single.

Eberhardt homered and singled while Kane doubled twice to lead the Bears. Each had two RBIs.

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