MANSFIELD, Conn. – Sophomore Courtney Davis (Woburn, Mass.) struck for her first two home runs of the season, including a decisive solo shot in game one, and junior Samantha Crosman (South Berwick, Maine/Marshwood) drove in the game-winner in the top of the eighth in game two as the University of Southern Maine Huskies' softball team earned a Little East Conference doubleheader sweep over the Eastern Connecticut State University Warriors Saturday afternoon Eastern Stadium.
USM won game one 3-2, and then rallied for a 9-8 extra inning win game two to improve to 21-8-1 on the season and 6-4 in the Little East. The Huskies' sweep marked the first time since the 2005 season that USM swept Eastern Connecticut, and the first time the Huskies' have earned a win over the Warriors since a 12-2 win at Eastern Connecticut on April 21, 2007. Suffering its fourth consecutive loss, ECSU is now 12-20 overall and 4-6 in the Little East.
GAME ONE: Southern Maine 3, Eastern Connecticut 2
Trailing 2-0 after the bottom of the first, Southern Maine rallied to knot the score even with ECSU with one run each in the top of the second and fourth, before Davis launched her first home run of the season in the top of the fifth for the go-ahead run and the 3-2 win in the opener. Freshman hurler Sammi Goode (Bucksport, Maine) continued her strong play earning the win. Goode did not allow an earned in seven innings, giving up four hits and six walks while striking out three.
ECSU jumped in front of the Huskies with a two-run double from junior Gina Georgetti (Milford, Conn./Joseph A. Foran) as the Warriors scored a pair of unearned runs in their first at-bats. ECSU took advantage of a Huskies' fielding error in the inning and gave up the runs after two outs.
USM responded with an RBI single from senior Kat McKay (Mechanic Falls, Maine/St. Dominic's) in the top of the second to trim the lead to 2-1 ECSU, and then pulled even with the Warriors on an RBI single from senior Mary Caron (Lewiston, Maine/St. Dominic's).
In the home half of the fourth, Goode worked her way around a two-out single from junior Danielle Robillard (Swansea, Mass./Joseph Case) ending the inning with one of her three strikeouts, before Davis led off the inning with a home run to give USM a 3-2 lead. The home run is Davis' fifth of her career.
Goode sat the Warrior batters down in order in the bottom of the fifth, and the Huskies' bats were silent in the top of the sixth to keep the game at 3-2 in favor of USM heading into the bottom of six. Despite giving up a pair of walks in the home half of the sixth, Goode was aided by her defense as Davis picked off freshman Kayla Santos (Peabody, Mass./Peabody Veterans Memorial), who led off the inning with a walk, for the first out. After ECSU's second walk of the inning was issued to senior Taylor Smyth (Meriden, Conn./F.T. Maloney), McKay knocked off Smyth as the lead runner on a fielder's choice with an assist to Caron, first to shortstop, at second base. With two down and a runner on first, Goode ended the inning with a ground out.
The Huskies again went down in order in the top of the seventh, before Goode picked up her team for the win working her way around a fielding error with two strikeouts and a ground out to end the game.
ECSU junior Samantha Valentine (Ridge, N.Y./Longwood) took the loss, allowing three earned runs on seven hits and two walks. She struck out three.
GAME TWO: Southern Maine 9, Eastern Connecticut 8 (8)
Trailing 4-0 after three full, McKay ignited the Huskies' with a three-run blast to left center field as USM pulled out a 9-8 eight-inning win in game two to earn the sweep. The Huskies knocked out three home runs in the game, and five of their 15 hits went for extra bases. The Huskies had home runs from McKay, Davis and junior Shelby Obert (Norridgewock, Maine/Skowhegan).
ECSU took advantage of a pair of Husky errors in the early goings of the game and RBI hits from senior Alyssa Hancock (Waterford, Conn.), junior Summer Cipriani (North Stonington, Conn./Wheeler) and a solo home run from junior Samantha Bardos (Norwalk, Conn./Brien McMahon) to lead 4-0 through three.
In the top of the fourth USM ended the shut out. Obert led off the inning and advanced to second on a one-out single from Crosman. After another Husky out, McKay connected for her third home run of the season to make it 4-3.
Husky starter sophomore Amber Kelly (Berwick, Maine/Noble) retired ECSU in order in the bottom of the fourth, before USM exploded for five runs in the top of the fifth to surge ahead of the Warriors 8-4. Sophomore Taylor Lux (Arundel, Maine/Thornton Academy) reached with a one-out double down the right field line setting up Davis' second home run of the day – a two-run shot over left field – to make it 5-4 USM. Following Davis, Obert launched a solo shot for her second home run of the season to give USM a 6-4 lead. The Huskies scored their final two runs off the inning on an RBI single from junior Danni Humphrey (Walnut Creek, Calif./Northgate) and a wild pitch.
ECSU took one run back in the bottom of the fifth on two walks, a single and a wild pitch but remained behind USM 8-5 heading into the bottom of the sixth. In the sixth, ECSU pulled even with USM scoring three runs on two hits, and two walks, including a two-run home run from senior Samantha Rentz (Griswold, Conn.) to knot the game up at eight runs each. Retz's home run came off of Goode who entered the game in relief of Kelly in the inning. Kelly was lifted after giving up a double, a walk and firing consecutive wild pitches.
With the score tied at eight, both teams were quite in the seventh. USM stranded to runners in the top of the inning, while Goode was steady in bottom of the inning, sandwiching a walk with a ground out, a strikeout and an infield pop up.
In the eight, Obert led off the inning with a double to center field and advanced to third on a shallow single to left from Kelly. Crosman then brought Obert home with a long sacrifice fly to center to put USM ahead 9-8. The Huskies' threatened for more with runners on and just one down, but ECSU turned a double play to end the inning.
In the bottom of eight, Goode picked up her second win of the day and fourth of the week retiring ECSU in order with a trio of fly balls to the outfield. Kelly earned the no decision for USM, allowing five earned runs (seven total) on seven hits and four walks. She pitched 5.2 innings and struck out two. Goode earned the win with 2.1 innings of relief. She allowed one earned run on one hit and two walks. Valentine absorbed the loss in relief for ECSU. She pitched 2.0 innings allowing one earned run on three hits and a walk. Cipriani, the ECSU starter, pitched 4.1 innings allowing six earned runs on eight hits and a walk. Senior Emily Komorick (Shelton, Conn.) pitched 1.2 innings of relief before being lifted for Valentine. She allowed two earned runs on four hits and three walks.
Southern Maine travels to Plymouth State on Tuesday (3:30 p.m.) for a Little East Conference doubleheader. Eastern Connecticut hosts Wesleyan in non-conference action on Sunday (12:00 p.m.).