CLERMONT, Fla. – Junior Erin Martin (Biddeford, Maine) hit a pair of home runs and drove in five runs to highlight a 1-1 start by the University of Southern Maine Huskies' softball team in its season-opening games in Clermont, Florida at the Hancock Recreational Complex. Southern Maine won its opener 15-3 (5 innings) over Becker, and then fell 10-4 to Mount Union.
Playing in its season-opening games, Southern Maine is 1-1. The Becker Hawks stand at 1-6 following its loss to Southern Maine. The Mount Union Raiders are 8-4 with its win over the Huskies.
Martin started the 2019 season off on the right foot launching a home run to right-center field in the first at-bat of the year for the Huskies, spotting her team an early 1-0 lead en route to their five-inning 15-3 season-opening triumph.
Martin finished the game 3-for-4 at the dish with two home runs and a double while driving in five RBI. The Huskies cranked out 14 hits, including six for extra bases in the win. Junior Tabitha Hirsch went 3-for-4 with two doubles, while freshman Kaitlyn Nelson (Guildhall, Vermont/White Mountains Regional) and junior Ashley Tinsman (Cape Elizabeth, Maine) each collected a pair of hits.
Junior Alexis Brown (Malden, Mass.) went the distance for the Huskies to earn the win. Brown scattered six hits over five innings and did not concede a walk in the victory, while striking out three. Becker's Samantha Belenchia took the loss giving up 15 runs (nine earned) on 14 hits and a walk. She struck out two.
In the second game, Mount Union extended its 1-0 lead with a big six-run top of the the fourth to roll to its 10-4 win over the Huskies. The Raiders' Hanna Ingrham led the Mount Union offense with a 2-for-3 effort at the plate with two runs scored and a team-best three RBI. The Raiders collected 10 hits off of the Huskies' pitchers. Natalie Martin, Maddie Pidgeon and Ingram each had two hits.
Trailing 9-0 and facing an inning-shortened game, Southern Maine struck for four runs in the bottom of the fifth. With one out, USM drew four consecutive walks, including an RBI base-on-balls from Tinsman to trail 9-1 and leave the bases full. Huskies' junior Tabatha Hirsch (Coral Springs, Fla./South Plantation) then collected the only hit of the inning with a bases clearing double to the left field gap to drive in three runs and keep the Huskies in the game. Hirsch was the Huskies only repeat hitter in game two, finishing the game 2-for-3 at the plate with three RBI.
Mount Union's Peyton Morrison earned the win, pitching five innings shutout innings, allowing four hits. Ashley Cascio pitched two innings in the middle of the game spelling Morrison before her return. Cascio allowed four earned runs on two hits and four walks.
Southern Maine freshman Ashley Alward (Cornville, Maine/Skowhegan) was saddled with the loss giving up seven runs (one earned) on five hits and three walks in 3.2 innings pitched. Junior Madison Greene (Moultonborough, N.H.) relieved Alward and closed the game firing 3.1 innings, allowing three earned runs on six hits and two walks.
Southern Maine plays another two tomorrow against Rowan (4:00 pm) and Thomas More (6:15 pm).
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