GORHAM, Maine – Junior Erin Martin (Biddeford, Maine) and sophomore Hannah Kenney (Oxford, Maine) combined to drive in eight runs over two games as the University of Southern Maine Huskies swept the UMass Boston Beacons 7-3 and 8-3 in a Little East Conference doubleheader Thursday afternoon at the USM Softball Stadium.
With the sweep, Southern Maine has won its last six games consecutively. The Huskies are presently in fourth place in the Little East Conference and need to finish in the top six of the regular season standing to earn a LEC tournament berth.
Game One: Southern Maine 7, UMass Boston 3
Game Two: Southern Maine 8, UMass Boston 3
Records: Southern Maine (20-15, 7-7 LEC); UMass Boston (21-16, 7-9 LEC)
How It Happened:
Game One: Southern Maine 7, UMass Boston 3
- Freshman Ashley Alward (Cornville, Maine/Skowhegan) earned her seventh win of the season throwing a strong seven innings. Alward did not allow an earned run and scattered four hits over seven innings while striking out seven.
- Four Husky hitters had more than one hit as USM collected 13 hits off of UMass Boston starter Jess Greenspan. Kenney was 3-for-4 in with four RBI, including a two-run double, while Marin, senior Brooke Cross (Saco, Maine/Thornton Academy), and Alward each had two hits.
- After Alward struck out the side to open the game, USM jumped on top of the Beacons 3-0 in the first. Cross had an RBI single, while Kenney had a two-run single
- The Huskies added a run in the bottom of the third and the bottom of the fourth for a 5-0 lead. Scoring an unearned run in the third, USM junior Ashley Tinsman (Cape Elizabeth, Maine) had an RBI single in the fourth to drive in Cross. Cross reached in the fourth on a one-out double.
- Kenney drove in two more with a double to right field in the sixth giving USM a 7-0 advantage. USM nearly made it 8-0 on a single to right field but the Beacon right fielder Taylor Pawlina cut down the Huskies' runner with a great throw to home to extend the game.
- The Beacons scored all three of their runs in the top of the seventh, using three hits and taking advantage of a pair of Husky fielding errors. Ari Bilotta had an RBI single up the middle for UMB before Alward got the final two outs of the inning on a foul out and a fly out.
- Game Two: Southern Maine 8, UMass Boston 3
- With the game tied up at 3-3 after the top of the third, USM scored five runs in the home half of the inning to claim an 8-3 win in game two.
- Tinsman led off the inning with a double to right center and came around to score the go-ahead run on an RBI single from junior Alexis Brown (Malden, Mass.), who advanced to second on the hit with a Beacon's fielding error.
- After an infield pop up, Alward and Sarah Howe each singles with Howe's driving in another Husky run for a 5-3 advantage and runners on first and second setting up Martin.
- With to runs on the bases, Martin hit her fifth home run of the season, knocking the ball to straight away center for a three-run shot and an 8-3 Husky lead.
- With the lead in hand, USM's Brown retired the next four Beacons' batters in order and did not allow a runner past second base the rest of the way to earn the win.
- UMB threatened for runs in the seventh with a one-out walk to Roxanne Vento and what looked like an extra base hit off of the bat of Bilotta, but the Huskies' Cross made a diving catch in center field for the second out to end the threat, and Brown cleaned up with a ground out to retire the side.
- Brown allowed four hits and five walks, but did not yield an earned run in her ninth win of the season. She struck out six.
BY THE NUMBERS
- Brown and Alward held the Beacons to a combined .148 batting average over two games. The Huskies' pitchers limited the Beacons to eight hits over two games.
- With her four hits over two games, Martin now has 107 in her career, and has broke into the USM career records and is 24th all-time.
- Cross is now 16th in career hits with 125, t-9th in doubles with 31, and 12th in RBI with 75.
- Brown's win is the 21st of her career and makes her 10th in USM records. Her six strikeouts also vaulted her into the Huskies' career top-10 and now has 168.
Southern Maine travels to Western Connecticut on Saturday (3:00 pm) in its Little East Conference finale.
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