Bangor, ME - The Husson University softball team was able to break up a perfect game in the fourth inning, but that was about all the Eagles had to cheer for, as NCAA Division I University of Maine defeated Husson 9-0 in five innings at O'Keefe Field on Tuesday. With the loss, the Eagles fall to 10-7 while Maine improves to 7-22 on the year.
Husson had three hits in the game from three different players, the first of the game coming in the bottom in the fourth, off the bat of first year catcher Heidi Shaw (Manchester, Maine) who took a running start and slapped the ball into right field. Shaw went 1-2 at the plate, along with fellow first year player Victoria Overlock (Belfast, Maine) and senior shortstop Aimee Mortensen (Biddeford, Maine) who also recorded hits. Husson hurler Kody Lyon (Dalton, N.H.) was credited the loss, going three innings while allowing three earned runs on four hits while striking out a pair.
For Maine, the most dominant player on the diamond was senior pitcher Ashley Kelley (Hermon, Maine) who went the distance to earn the complete game shut-out victory. Kelley allowed just three hits while striking out nine of the 18 batters she faced. Offensively, the Black Bears were led by shortstop Jennifer Eberhardt (Glendale, Ariz.) who went 1-2 at the dish with two RBI and as many runs scored with a first-inning home run over the left field wall. Third baseman Margaret Hilton (Lyndonville, Vt.) also pitched in a solo shot, sending hers over the wall in center. Designated player EmJ Fogel (Vienna, Va.) scored three runs on the day while going 3-4 out of the leadoff spot.
Maine wasted little time getting on the board as Fogel led off the inning with a single up the middle, and after a sacrifice bunt moved her to second, she came in to score on the Eberhardt dinger and it was quickly 2-0 in favor of the visiting Black Bears.
Kelley retired the Eagles in order in the bottom of the inning, and her teammates added three more for insurance in the top of the second. After a ground out, Hilton belted a solo shot to center, the first of her career at Maine. First year right fielder Jessica Burk (Warrenton, Va.) and Fogel both came in on a Husson error later in the inning and the lead was stretched to 5-0.
In the bottom of the inning, Husson again went down in order, and the Black Bears added another run in the top of the third. Jean Stevens (Albany, Ore.) led off the inning with a walk, and advanced to third on a pair of passed balls. With two outs in the inning, it appeared as though Husson would get out of the inning unscathed, but another Eagle error plated Stevens and Maine took a 6-0 lead.
Husson again went down in order in the bottom of the third, as Kelley made it through the order one time without a blemish. The Black Bears got two more runs across in the top of the fourth to stretch their advantage to eight. Fogel reached on an error with one out in the inning to start the rally, and advanced to third on a ground out and a wild pitch. Eberhardt walked and took second without a throw, setting the table for Stevens who doubled to right to clear the bases and the score was 8-0 in favor of Maine.
The Eagles were able to break up the perfect game in the bottom of the fourth as Shaw ripped a single to right. Overlock singled up the middle to get two runners aboard with just one out in the inning, but that was all that Husson could muster as Kelley dealt a line out and a strike out to get out of the jam.
Maine added one more in the top of the fifth for good measure as Nikki Byron (Trabuco Canyon, Calif.) led off the inning with a single to center field. After a pair of Black Bear outs resulted in Byron advancing to second, Fogel hit an RBI single to right field and the Maine lead was 9-0.
Husson got a runner on in the bottom of the fifth, but could not get her across as the game ended after five innings.
The Eagles are on the road on Wednesday as they travel to Gorham, Maine to take on the University of Southern Maine for a double-dip beginning at 3:00 pm. Maine is off until Saturday, April 7th when they travel to Boston University for a three-game series with the Terriers as they hope to even their America East Conference record.