CLERMONT, Fla. – Senior Brooke Cross (Saco, Maine/Thornton Academy) went 5-for-11 with two runs scored and six RBI in three games, while junior Erin Martin (Biddeford, Maine) went 4-for-7 with four runs scored and an RBI as the University of Southern Maine Huskies' softball team went 2-1 in its final day of its Spring Break games in Clermont, Fla.
The Huskies fell just short of a rally in a 4-3 loss to Hamilton in its opening game, before coming back to defeat Plattsburgh 5-0 in game two and Wisconsin-Superior 9-1 in a five-inning game three. USM ends its Florida trip with a record of 7-5. Hamilton improved to 6-1 with its win over USM, while Plattsburgh evened out to 3-3. Wisconsin-Superior fell to 3-11 with the loss.
GAME ONE: Hamilton 4, Southern Maine 3
Ashleah Yzaguirre was a perfect 3-for-3 at the plate with one run scored and a pair of RBI to lead the Hamilton College Continentals to a 4-3 win over the Huskies. Morgan Hartranft was outstanding in relief for Hamilton to earn the win pitching 3.1 innings of scoreless ball allowing just one hit and strikeout out four.
Sophomore Hannah Kenney (Oxford, Maine/Oxford Hills) led the Huskies offensively with a two-run double. Junior Alexis Brown (Malden, Mass.) took the loss allowing four runs (two earned) on six hits and three walks in four innings of work. She struck out three.
Hamilton scored three of its runs in the third to break open a scoreless game, and then relied on Hartranft to keep the Huskies at bay. Two of the Continentals' runs were unearned in the inning on a muffed sacrifice bunt play. Yzaguirre had an RBI single for the first run, while Helen Lin had an RBI single down the left field line, and Liz Brautigame drew an RBI walk in the inning.
USM took one back in the bottom of the inning, but Hamilton went ahead 4-1 in the top of the fourth on another RBI single from Yzaguirre. USM responded, however, with two runs in the bottom of the fourth as Kenney knocked in a pair with her two-out double to the right field gap. After a walk to the Huskies' junior Erin Martin (Biddeford, Maine), Hartranft came on in relief to get the Continentals out of the inning. From there, Hartranft allowed just one hit and two baserunners the rest of the way for the victory.
GAME TWO: Southern Maine 5, Plattsburgh 0
The Huskies scored all five of their runs in the top of the third and freshman Ashley Alward (Cornville, Maine/Skowhegan) pitched a complete game shutout for her first intercollegiate win at USM downed the Plattsburgh State Cardinals 5-0.
Alward went the distance for Southern Maine, scattering three hits and five walks over seven innings. The Huskies' rookie struck out a season and career-best eight in the win, and did not give up an extra base hit.
With one down, Alward got the ball rolling for the Huskies with a single before Martin made it two on with a walk. Another single, this time from freshman Kaitlin Nelson loaded the bases for USM to set the plate for Huskies' senior Brooke Cross (Saco, Maine/Thornton Academy). Cross knocked in two runs with a single to plate Alward and Martin and advanced Nelson to third. USM scored its third run of the inning on an RBI single from Brown before recording its final two runs of the inning on an error for a 5-0 lead.
Alward turned in a strong performance the rest of the way for the win. She worked her way around a pair of walks in the fourth, a pair of singles in the fifth, and an error in the sixth. In the seventh, Alward retired the Cardinals in order to earn the win.
Plattsburgh's Elliana Bowlen took the loss, allowing five runs (three earned) on six hits and two walks in four innings. Jennifer Groat pitched the final three innings, giving up one hit and five walks, while striking out three.
GAME THREE: Southern Maine 9, Wisconsin-Superior 1
Cross went 3-for-3 with four RBI and two runs scored to lead an 11-hit attack for the Huskies in a 9-1 five-inning win over the Wisconsin-Superior Yellowjackets. Cross hit a three-run home run in the bottom of the first to give USM a 3-0 lead early, recording her second home run of the season and 11th of her career. Cross is now tied for sixth in career home runs with former NFCA All-American Julie Plant (1997-2000). The Huskies' school record for career home runs is 15 set by Becky Manson (1998-2001).
Junior Madison Greene (Moultonborough, N.H.) earned her second win of the season holding the Yellowjackets to just two hits and three walks for one earned run in five innings of work. She struck out five. Damara Theis took the loss for Wisconsin-Superior in 1.1 innings, allowing three earned runs on three hits and a walk. Ashley Taipale closed out the final three innings allowing six runs (two earned) on eight hits and a walk.
Martin, Brown and Kenney each had RBI for the Huskies in the win. Martin and Tinsman each had doubles.
Southern Maine heads back to Maine, and will continue its 2019 schedule in its Little East Conference opener on Saturday, March 23 at Eastern Connecticut State University (1:00 pm) for a doubleheader.
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