Jen Jones continued her domination of opposing hitters on Sunday, pitching a six-hitter with seven strikeouts to propel top-seeded Husson University to a 4-1 victory over No. 2 New England College in the championship game of the North Atlantic College tournament at O’Keefe Field in Bangor.
Jones, who was named the tourney MVP, struck out seven and hit a batter to help the Eagles (21-13) complete their comeback after dropping the opening game of the tournament to Thomas College on Friday.
By virtue of its first league title in three years, Husson earns the North Atlantic Conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Softball Championship. New England College winds up 17-23.
All-tournament picks Bri Brochu (triple, double, single, 2 RBIs) and Chloe Gorey (double, 2 singles, RBI) paced Husson at the plate. Tamara Aunchman (RBI) and Madelyn Fowler (double) each contributed two hits.
Julia D’Andrea singled and drove in a run for the Pilgrims to support losing pitcher Taylor Barbour, who gave up 11 hits and four runs with six strikeouts and a walk.
Husson’s Olivia Smith also earned an all-tourney spot.
The Eagles broke a scoreless deadlock with three runs in the bottom of the fourth inning. Fowler led off with a double to left field and scored on Aunchman’s single to center.
Two outs later, Brianna Bires singled to left, Brochu hit an RBI double to right-center and Gorey delivered a run-scoring single through the middle to provide Jones with all the runs she would need.
Husson wins two on Saturday
At O’Keefe Field in Bangor on Saturday, the Eagles forced a championship game on Sunday with wins over Thomas College of Waterville (1-0) and New England College (9-1).
In the first game, Jen Jones held the Terriers to one hit, striking out seven and walking two.
Husson (20-13) scored the only run of the game in the first inning when Bri Brochu singled, Olivia Smith reached on an error and Morgan Coleman hit a run-scoring fielder’s choice.
Brochu added another single and Chloe Gorey doubled off losing pitcher Katlyn Coulter, who spaced six hits and fanned three.
Sydney LeBourveau’s one-out single in the first inning was the only hit for Thomas, which wound up 20-17.
In the second elimination game, Kylie Kennedy clubbed a three-run homer and a single among 13 hits as Husson advanced. Jones fired a three-hitter, striking out nine and walking one.
Smith collected two doubles, two singles and an RBI for the winners, while Tamara Aunchman (double) and Gorey each posted two hits and an RBI.
Shawnie Clark doubled for New England College (17-22) to back losing pitcher Taylor Barbour as the Pilgrims were eliminated.
Stony Brook 6, Maine 2
At Stony Brook, N.Y., two UMaine errors helped open the door for Melissa Rahrich’s two-out grand slam in the sixth inning that lifted Stony Brook to an America East victory on Saturday.
Rahrich limited the Black Bears to two unearned runs on eight hits and struck out three with two hit batters. She also hit a single for the Seawolves (23-20, 10-7 AE), who received a double and a single from Ileana Torres.
Stony Brook is the No. 3 seed and faces No. 6 Maryland Baltimore County in Wednesday’s first round at Binghamton.
UMaine (20-23, 9-7 AE) is the No. 4 seed for the conference tournament and plays No. 5 host Binghamton on Wednesday at 11 a.m.
Laurine German singled twice, including a two-run hit in the seventh inning, for the Black Bears. Erika Leonard contributed two singles to back starter and loser Molly Flowers, who gave up four hits and two runs with three strikeouts, four walks and a hit batter in four innings.
Kyleigh O’Donnell, who struck out four in two innings, allowed the home run.
UMF eliminated Saturday
At Castleton, Vt., on Saturday, the University of Maine at Farmington was eliminated from the North Atlantic Conference baseball tournament. Castleton beat the Beavers 9-2 in the first game, then New England College eliminated UMF with a 12-0 victory later in the day.
In the opener, Jonathan Lindau drove in three runs with a home run and a triple to power the Spartans to victory. Mitchell Caron provided three singles and two RBIs amidst the winners’ 13-hit attack.
Joe Gratton went the distance, giving up six hits and two unearned runs with eight strikeouts and a walk.
Jake Bessey doubled and singled and Chase Malloy singled twice for UMF, which wound up 13-21. Starter Nate Pushard took the loss.
In the second game, Stanley Vargas blanked the Beavers on three hits and racked up 15 strikeouts as New England College cruised.
Xavier Nunez (2 doubles) and Christian Aybar (double) each collected three hits with three RBIs for the Pilgrims.
Nick Attaliades-Ryan, Malloy and Taylor Lockhart singled for UMF. Gavin Arsenault suffered the loss on the mound.