Mary Caron: 2017 Academic All-American

Huskies Defeat Union to Split Games: Elmhurt 5, USM 4 and USM 7, Union 4

Sophomore Courtney Davis applies the tag in USM's 7-4 win over Union.  Davis is hitting .333 with seven RBI.
Sophomore Courtney Davis applies the tag in USM's 7-4 win over Union. Davis is hitting .333 with seven RBI.
WINTER GARDEN, Fla. – Junior Danni Humphrey (Walnut Creek, Calif./Northgate) was two-for-two at the plate with four RBI to lead the University of Southern Maine Huskies to a 7-4 win over the Union College Dutchwomen in their second game of the day to salvage a split at the Foundation Academy Fields Thursday morning.  Southern Maine fell 5-4 to the Elmhurst College Bluejays in its first game of the day.

The loss to the Bluejays halted a five-game win streak for USM, but the win over Union lifted USM's record to 8-2.  Elmhurst improved to 6-5 with the win, while Union fell to 3-6 with the loss.

GAME ONE: Elmhurst 5, Southern Maine 4

            Tied at 4-4, Elmhurt freshman Bekah Ondracek (Downers Grove, Ill.) collected a two-out RBI single to lift the Elmhurst College Bluejays over the Huskies 5-4.  The Bluejays were down to their final out after a pair of infield popups surrounded a walked batter, before senior Brianna Thompson (Joliet, Ill./Joliet West) stroked a double to keep the Bluejays inning alive, setting up Ondracek.  Ondracek finished the game 2-for-4 at the plate with the single RBI, while Thompson was 2-for-3 with two RBI and two runs scored to lead the Bluejay offense. 

            Both teams kept pace with each other trading a single run in the first and two runs in the third to find themselves tied at 3-3 through five innings.  After a quiet top of the sixth for the Huskies -  as Bluejay hurler junior Stafanie Sanidas (Bloomington, Ill.) fired a 1-2-3 inning through the 3-4-5 hitters in the USM lineup – Elmhurst took a 4-3 lead in the bottom of the sixth.  Thompson led off the inning drawing a walk and advanced to second with two outs following a passed ball.  After another walk, Thompson came around to score on an outfield error by the Huskies.  USM pulled itself even with Elmhurst in the top of the seventh also scoring on an unearned run, before Elmhurst took the win in its final at bat.

            USM starter Sammi Goode (Bucksport, Maine) pitched six innings allowing three earned runs on four hits and four walks while striking out five for no decision.  Sophomore Amber Kelly (Berwick, Maine/Noble) took the loss pitching two-thirds of an inning, allowing one earned run on two hits and a walk.  Sanidas went the distance for Elmhurst allowing two earned runs on six hits and one walk.

            USM senior Kat McKay (Mechanic Falls, Maine/St. Dominic Academy) was 2-for-3 for the Huskies, scoring one run.  McKay hit her first career home run with a solo shot in the top of the third.

GAME TWO:  Southern Maine 7, Union 4

            After falling behind 1-0 in the top of the first, USM scored three runs in the bottom of the inning and led the rest of the way to take a 7-4 win over the Dutchwomen.  Humphrey was 2-for-2 with four RBI to pace an eight-hit Husky attack, while Kelly was solid in the circle allowing four earned runs on eight hits and six walks over seven innings. Kelly struck out five to improve to 5-1 on the season.

            Junior Shelby Obert (Norridgewalk, Maine/Skowhegan) and Humphrey drove in all three of the Huskies' runs in the bottom of the first.  Obert laced a single to collect her 11th RBI of the season, before Humphrey drove in a pair of runs with a two-out single. 

            Trailing 3-1, Union took one run back in the top of the second on a solo home run from junior Brianna Godlewski (Wethersfield, Conn.) to lead off the inning, but Kelly bounced back with a strikeout and two ground outs to second and third.  Ahead 3-2, USM took a 4-2 lead in the bottom of the second on an RBI double from sophomore Courtney Davis (Woburn, Mass.), and Kelly continued to control the batter's box earning three strikeouts in the top of the third to work around a single and a walk.

            USM broke the game open with two runs in the bottom of the third and another in the bottom of the fourth to lead 7-2.  In the third, Humphrey collected her third and fourth RBIs of the game with another single driving in senior Mary Caron (Lewiston, Maine/St. Dominic's Academy) and junior Samantha Crosman (South Berwick, Maine/Marshwood).  Crosman led off the inning with a single and moved to third on a double from Caron.  USM kept the sheet clean in the top of the fourth, as Davis erased a lead-off walk by throwing out her fourth would-be base stealer of the season and Kelly got the final two outs on a strikeout and a pop up.  In the bottom of the fourth, Kelly led off the inning with a double, advanced to third on an error and then came around to touch home plate on an RBI sacrifice fly from Crosman for her team-leading 13th RBI of the season.

            Both teams were scoreless through the fifth and the sixth innings and USM lead 7-2 heading to the top of the second before Union rallied for a pair of runs for the 7-4 final.  After a lead off pop up, Union strung together for consecutive hits including an RBI double from sophomore Courtney Casey (Somerville, Mass./Arlington Catholic) and an RBI single from senior Joanna Chalifoux (Islip, N.Y./St. Anthony's), before Kelly bounced back with a pop up to shortstop and a fly ball to right field to close the game.

            Union starter senior Dani Hennel (Delanson, N.Y./Duanesburg) fell to 1-3 with the loss, allowing two earned runs on eight hits and a walk. 

Southern Maine plays its final two games in Florida on Thursday before returning north.  The Huskies will face Oberlin (5:00 p.m.) and Middlebury (7:00 p.m.).