PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Junior Brooke Cross (Saco, Maine/Thornton Academy) drove in four of the Huskies' six total runs, and senior Amber Kelly (Berwick, Maine) and sophomore Alexis Brown (Malden, Mass.) each spun complete game gems to lead the University of Southern Maine Huskies to sweep of the Rhode Island College Anchorwomen, 3-0 and 3-1, in a Little East Conference doubleheader Saturday afternoon at the Bazar Softball Complex.
With the pair of wins, Southern Maine wins its third straight and improves to 15-12 overall, and 4-2 in the LEC. Rhode Island College falls to 6-12 overall and remains winless in the conference at 0-6.
GAME ONE: Southern Maine 3, Rhode Island College 0
With Kelly firing a two-hit shutout, Southern Maine relied on the bat of Cross for its game one victory over the Anchorwomen. Keeping RIC hitless until the fifth inning, Kelly allowed just two singles over the seven-inning win, striking out seven and giving up just three walks, while Cross drove in all three of the Huskies' runs.
Scoreless through three inning, Cross cranked out a two-run home run in the top of the fourth and then drove in another run in the top of the sixth with an RBI single for 3-0 final. In the fourth, senior Courtney Davis (Woburn, Mass.) drew a one-out walk setting the field for Cross to hit her team and LEC leading fifth home run of the season. In the sixth, Cross provided the Huskies win an insurance run driving in sophomore Erin Martin (Biddeford, Maine) with a two-out single to the right side. Cross finished the game 2-for-3 at the plate with one run scored in addition to her three RBI. Freshman Hannah Kenney (Oxford, Maine/Oxford Hills) had the only other USM hit in the game, collecting her third double of the season in the second inning.
Cross' home run marks the ninth of her career, and ties her for seventh in the USM career record books with former standout Renee (Heath) Towne. Her five home runs this season are second in single-season record books.
RIC's Erica Fleming gave up just three hits and a walk in the loss, allowing three runs (two earned) in seven innings. She had two strikeouts.
GAME TWO: Southern Maine 3, Rhode Island College 1
Brown picked up her second win of the week and sixth of the season limiting RIC to a pair of hits while striking out eight in the 3-1 game two victory. Martin, Cross and freshman Lauren Gasaway (Old Town, Maine) each had RBIs for the Huskies
USM took a 2-0 lead in the top of the third forcing RIC to pay for one of its two fielding errors in the inning. With Gasaway taking first on a fielding error and then moving to second on a wild pitch, Martin singled to center field to plate the Huskies first run of the game. Martin then advanced to second on another RIC error, before the Anchormen got their second out of the inning. With two down and runners on first and second, Cross collected her team and conference leading 25thRBI of the season with a single to center field to score Martin.
USM added its third run in the top of the fourth. Kenney and sophomore Tabitha Hirsch (Coral Springs, Fla.) connected for back-to-back one-out singles, and Kenney stole third before Gasaway hit an RBI grounder to second.
Up by three runs, the Huskies' defense turned up its intensity in the top of the fifth overcoming a lead off single, and a fielding error to cut down a potential big inning for RIC. With a single from Kelsey Wood, and a fielding error allowing Michaela DeAngelis to reach safely, RIC had runners on first and second with no outs. With Davis behind the plate for the Huskies, she kick started a double-play as RIC attempted a double steal. Davis cut down DeAngelis at second, and then applied the tag on Wood on a throw from junior Brittany Plowman (Scarborough, Maine) at home. The Huskies got the final out of the inning on a foul out to Davis to end the threat.
RIC did get on the board to break up the shut out in the bottom of the sixth with an RBI double from Emma Simmons. Simmons' double, the first extra base hit off of a Husky pitcher on the day, scored Nicole Venturi, who led off the inning with a walk. Simmons was stranded at second however, as USM got the final two outs on a foul out and a grounder.
Brown closed the game with authority, getting two of her eight strikeouts in the inning on the first two batters she faced and then worked around a walk to get another foul out to the catcher for the final.
RIC Briana Gough pitched well in the loss, allowing three runs (one earned) on four hits. She struck out seven and walked one.
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