BIDDEFORD, Maine – Freshman Ashley Alward (Cornville, Maine/Skowhegan) picked up her third win of the season firing a complete game to lead the University of Southern Maine Huskies to a 10-4 win over the University of New England Noreasters in a non-conference softball game Thursday afternoon. Originally scheduled as a doubleheader, a single game was played. USM will return to UNE on Thursday, April 18 (3:00 pm).
HOW IT HAPPENED:
Trailing 2-0 after two innings, Southern Maine rallied for three runs in the top of the third to take the lead and never looked back en route to their third consecutive win. Southern Maine strung together four hits, including a pair of extra base hits, to plate the three runs.
Sophomore Erin Martin (Biddeford, Maine) started the rally with a one-out single and then put herself into scoring position with a stolen base. Freshman Kaitlyn Nelson (Guildhall, Vermont/White Mountains Regional) followed with an RBI double to the left field gap to push Martin across the plate. Huskies' senior captain Brooke Cross followed with a laced triple to the right field gap for the RBI and equalizing run, before junior Kayleigh Bohan (Bedford, N.H.) knocked in Cross with a single down the left field line for the 3-2 USM lead.
USM added another run in the top of the fourth on an RBI single from Martin for a 4-2 lead. USM put the game away with three more runs in the top of the fifth with RBI doubles off of the bats of junior Alexis Brown (Malden, Mass.) and junior Tabatha Hirsch (Coral Springs, Fla./South Plantation). Brown doubled in Cross who led off the inning with one of her three walks in the game, while Hirsch knocked in two runs with a double to right field.
Ahead 7-2, USM scored three more in the top of the seventh collecting another pair of extra base hits off of the bats of Martin and junior Ashley Tinsman (Cape Elizabeth, Maine). Hirsch led off with a single, and came around to score on a triple to right field from Tinsman for an 8-2 lead. After a ground out, Martin followed Tinsman with a triple to right field for a 9-2 USM advantage before Nelson collected an RBI on a sacrifice bunt.
UNE took back two runs in the bottom of the seventh on RBI singles from Alexis Kapsambel and Nicole Cacciola, but Southern Maine ended a bases loaded threat with Brown coming on for the final two outs to record a strikeout and a ground out.
OFF THE BAT:
- Seven of the Huskies 15 hits went for extra bases, including triples from Martin, Cross and Tinsman.
- Martin went 3-for-5 with two runs scored and two RBI in the game, while Hirsch also recorded three hits going 3-for-4 with 2 RBI.
- Cross, Bohan, and Nelson each had two hits.
- Martin has hit safely in 14 consecutive games.
- UNE had five of its nine hits in the seventh inning, including a double from Zea Macris.
- Sarah Lachapelle, Cacciola and Kapsambelis each had RBI.
IN THE CIRCLE:
- Alward pitched 6.1 innings in the win, allowing four runs, three earned, on eight hits.
- Alward did not walk a batter and struck out four.
- Brown pitched the final 0.2 innings, allowing one hit and striking out one.
- UNE's Sydnee Bessler took the loss. Bessler allowed four runs, all earned, on nine hits.
- Jordan Strum pitched the last 3.0 for UNE allowing six earned runs on six hits and five walks.
- Southern Maine earns its third straight win to improve to 10-7 overall. Since returning from Florida, USM has played five consecutive road games with a record of 3-2.
- University of New England had its six-game winning streak snapped with its loss to the Huskies and is 11-8 overall.
Southern Maine hosts Little East Conference opponent Castleton University on Saturday (2:00 pm) in the Huskies' 2019 home opener.
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