Mary Caron: 2017 Academic All-American

Huskies Win a Pair of Dramatic Game: USM 11, Washington & Jefferson 7 (8) and USM 5, Salve Regina 4

Sophomore Amber Kelly moved to 4-0 with a pair of wins for USM. She allowed three earned runs over 9.0 innings of work.
Sophomore Amber Kelly moved to 4-0 with a pair of wins for USM. She allowed three earned runs over 9.0 innings of work.
WINTER GARDEN, Fla. – Sophomore Amber Kelly (Berwick, Maine/Noble) earned back-to-back wins in the circle and junior Samantha Crosman (South Berwick, Maine/Marshwood) continued her torrid hitting to help the University of Southern Maine Huskies to a pair of dramatic wins defeating the Washington and Jefferson University Presidents 11-7 in eight innings, before earning a 5-4 come-from-behind win over the Salve Regina University Seahawks Wednesday morning at the Foundation Academy Fields.

            The pair of wins extends the Huskies' win-streak to five games and improves their overall record to 7-1.   Washington and Jefferson fell to 1-7 with its loss to USM, while Salve Regina dropped its fifth straight to fall to 1-6.

GAME ONE: Southern Maine 11, Washington & Jefferson 7 (8 innings)

            Ahead 6-3 heading to the bottom of the seventh, Southern Maine gave up three runs to the Presidents, forcing extra innings before surging for five runs in the top of the eighth to walk away with an 11-7 win.  

Southern Maine starter freshman Sammi Goode (Bucksport, Maine) pitched well for the Huskies into the seventh allowing two earned runs on eight hits.  In the bottom of the seventh, the Presidents' sophomore Meghan Staab (Pittsburgh, Pa./Keystone Oaks) led off the inning with a single to left field before junior Rachel Marx (Oakdale, Pa./West Allegheny) tagged Goode for a two-run home run to make it 6-5.  After Goode walked the next Washington & Jefferson, Kelly replaced Goode in the circle.  Kelly, who gave up a bunt single in the seventh, and an RBI ground out, limited the damage as USM headed to the eight.

            In extra innings, Kelly was placed on second to start the inning before coming around to score on an RBI single from classmate Courtney Davis (Woburn, Mass.).  Davis, who set up to bunt during her at bat, was able to place the ball out of reach of the Presidents' infielders to score the speedy Kelly to go ahead 7-6.  Jen Lynch drew a walk in the Huskies' next at bat, before Crosman and senior Mary Caron (Lewiston, Maine/St. Dominic's Academy) went back-to-back for singles for three more runs and a 10-6 USM lead.  With no outs and Caron on first junior Danni Humphrey (Walnut Creek, Calif./Northgate) singled down the left field line to make it runners on first and third for USM, before Washington and Jefferson got the next two batters out on a strikeout and an infield pop up.  However, the Huskies' tacked on one more run before ending in the inning as sophomore Taylor Lux (Arundel, Maine/Thornton Academy) drove an RBI single to center field to plate Caron for the 11-6 USM lead.

            In the bottom of the eighth, Staab was able to take one run back for Washington and Jefferson with a two-out RBI through the left side of the defense to score the President's runner, but Kelly was able to end the inning forcing a pop out to earn the win.

            Goode finished with no-decision for USM firing six innings and allowing six earned runs on 10 hits and a walk while striking out three.  Kelly pitched two innigns of relief to earn the win, allowing one unearned run on two hits and a walk.  Washington and Jefferson's  freshman Taylor Andres (Bethel Park, Pa.) took the loss allowing three earned runs (six total) on seven hits and two walks.  Starter Krista McCartney (Salem, Ohio/United Local) pitched 5.1 innings allowing one earned run (five total) on 10 hits and two walks, while striking out five.  Senior Emily Watson (Harmony, Pa./Seneca Valley) pitched one-third of an inning allowing one hit.

GAME TWO: Southern Maine 5, Salve Regina 4

            Trailing the Seahawks from the start, Southern Maine was able to complete the rally in the bottom of the seventh as Crosman collected her team leading 11th and 12th RBIs of the season with a walk-off single to center field for the win.

            Salve Regina jumped on top of the Huskies in the top of the first highlighted by a two-out, two-run home run from junior Kara O'Riley (Acton, Mass./Acton-Boxborough).  Southern Maine was able to take one run back in the bottom of the second on an RBI single from Humphrey, but Salve Regina was able to retake a three-run lead in the top of the fourth.  With two down and runners on second and third after a double from junior Lexi Soucie (North Easton, Mass./Oliver Ames) and a single from senior Genevieve Benoit (Swampscott, Mass./St. Mary's), the Seahawks were able to score their fourth and final run of the game following an infield error by the Huskies.

            After a scoreless home-half of the fourth, Southern Maine climbed back into the game in the bottom of the fifth on a one-out, two-run home run from Kelly to make it 4-3.  Kelly hit her first home run of the season, and the second of her career, over the center field fence scoring Lux.  Lux reached safely with a single to center field. The Huskies threatened for more in the fifth as Davis drew a walk and junior Shelby Obert (Norridgewalk, Maine/Skowhegan) singled through the left side to make it runners on first and second and one out, but Salve got a ground out and a line-out to center field to end the threat.

            Following a scoreless sixth and top of the seventh, USM remained behind the Seahawks 4-3 in their final at bats.  Kelly led off the inning and reached safely on a SRU fielding error and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt from Davis.   Kelly then took third on a single to center field from Obert, before Crosman collected her 12 hits of the season to deliver the Huskies' win.

            Kelly picked up her fourth win of the season to move to 4-0, pitching seven innings and allowing three earned runs on nine hits and a walk.  She struck out four.  Salve Regina senior Nicole Parry (Quincy, Mass.) pitched well in the loss, firing 6.1 innings and allowing three earned runs on seven hits and four walks while striking out five.

Southern Maine returns to action on Thursday for a pair of games.  The Huskies will face Elmhurst (8:00 a.m.) and then Union (N.Y.) at 10 a.m.