GORHAM, Maine – Sophomore Alexis Brown (Malden, Mass.) spun an seven-hit shutout, striking out seven to earn her seventh win of the season and senior Courtney Davis (Woburn, Mass.) went 2-for-4 at the plate with three RBI to lead the University of Southern Maine Huskies to a six-inning 8-0 win over the Western Connecticut State University Colonials to earn a split in its Little East Conference doubleheader Saturday afternoon at the USM Softball Stadium. Western Connecticut won the first game in eight innings, 5-4.
With the split, Southern Maine is 17-16 overall, and 6-4 in the Little East Conference. Western Connecticut stands at 10-21-1 and 3-5 in the conference.
GAME ONE: Western Connecticut 5, Southern Maine 4 (8 innings)
Senior Kayla Nowak (North Branford, Conn.) hit a solo home run to lead off the eighth inning, and sophomore Angelina Miller (Holbrook, N.Y./Sachem North) was able to retire the side in the bottom of the inning as the Colonials earned their 5-4 extra inning win in game one of an LEC doubleheader with the Huskies.
Southern Maine struck first in the game and led 3-0 after two innings. The Huskies plated to runs in the bottom of the first on a two-run double to center field from Davis, and went up 3-0 in the second on an RBI single from sophomore Erin Martin (Biddeford, Maine).
Western took the lead with a four-run top of the third, scoring its four runs on six hits. Leading off the inning with a single from senior Sofia Palacios (San Fernando, Calif./Bell-Jeff), the Colonials got three more singles consecutively, including an RBI single up the middle for freshman Reilly McMahon (South Windsor, Conn.) to make it 3-1. Sophomore Natalia Hart (Milford, Conn.) made it four singles in a row with a two-run single down the left field line to tie the score up at three runs a piece before sophomore Charline Plasczynski (Bristol, Conn./Bristol Eastern) drove in the go-ahead run with a double to the gap in left field. The Huskies defense was able to cut down a potential fifth run on the play when Husky junior center fielder Brooke Cross (Saco, Maine/Thornton Academy) hit senior shortstop Taylor Lux (Arundel, Maine/Thornton Academy) with a strong relay, and Lux fired an assist to freshman catcher Katie Favaloro (Rockport, Mass.) for the tag to end the inning.
After a scoreless fourth, USM tied the game up at four runs in the fifth. Cross drew a lead off walk and advanced to third on back-to-back ground outs, before Lux took first on an infield single to set up a first and third with two down. Manufacturing a run, Lux and Cross perfectly executed a delayed steal, with Cross touching home and Lux sliding in safely to second for a 4-4 game.
Both teams went down in order in the seventh setting up the extra inning play, leading to the Nowak home run. Miller took the win for Western allowing four runs (three earned) on nine hits and two walks, while striking out three. USM senior Amber Kelly (Berwick, Maine/Noble) took the loss giving up five earned runs on 11 hits. Kelly, who did not walk a batter, struck out six.
GAME TWO: Southern Maine 8, Western Connecticut 0 (6 innings)
Behind a strong pitching effort from Brown, Southern Maine bounced back to win game two 8-0 in six innings, invoking the eight-run rule. Brown scattered seven hits over the six innings and did not give up a walk in route to her seventh win of the season, improving her record to 7-2. It was the second shutout of the season for Brown.
Davis, who drove in five runs over the course of two games, had three RBI in game two to lead the Huskies at the plate. Martin went 3-for-3 with four runs scored, while junior Brittany Plowman (Scarborough, Maine) finished the game 2-for-3 with two runs scored.
After scoring one run in the bottom of the first, Davis made it a 3-0 game in the second with a two-run single in the second. The Huskies made it 6-0 in the fourth, scoring on a throwing error, and a pair of RBI ground outs from Davis and Cross.
USM was able to get the eight-run rule in the sixth with Martin and Plowman leading off the inning with back-to-back infield singles. After a fly out from Davis, Cross lifted a long fly ball to left. With Martin tagging to get to third the throw was errant on the relay and she came around to score for a 7-0 lead. One batter later, Plowman came around to score on an errant throw by the catcher in a failed pick off attempt.
WestConn's Miller was the game two starter absorbing the loss. She allowed three runs (two earned) in 2.0 innings of work. Miller gave up five hits and three walks in her outing. Junior Jaclyn Smith (Sandwich, Mass.) closed out the game allowing five runs (one earned) on three hits and three walks.
Southern Maine returns to action on Sunday (12:00 p.m.) in a non-conference doubleheader against Colby College.
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