Bangor, ME - The Husson University softball team took both games of a Wednesday afternoon doubleheader against out-of-conference opponent Bates College. The sweep gives Husson a 21-9 record on the year, including 9-2 in North Atlantic Conference play. With the victories, this marks the seventh consecutive year the Husson softball program has posted twenty or more wins in a season.
Game One - Husson 11, Bates 6
Game one was filled with action with each team trading blows back-and-forth. After two and a half scoreless innings, the Eagles struck first when Kayla Merrill (Bethel, ME) homered to left field to drive home Nicole Andrade (New Bedford, MA) and make it 2-0 Husson. The blast was Merrill's fifth of the season.
Bates (8-17, 2-7 NESCAC) would answer right back, scoring two runs of their own in the top of the fourth inning to tie the game.
The Eagles would tally three more in fifth, highlighted by another two-run round-tripper from Kayla Merrill and a solo homer from Breanna Martin (Oxford, ME) to gain a seemingly comfortable four-run lead, but the Bobcats wouldn't give in.
Bates made a push in the top of the sixth, scoring four runs on three hits and two Husson errors to tie the game at 6-6 going into the bottom of the sixth.
The stalemate didn't hold for very long as Sami Schultz (Hermon, ME) hit a solo home run to leadoff the bottom of the sixth. Allie Hill (Calais, ME) would later add a two-run double, and the Eagles wound up posting five runs in the frame to take an 11-6 lead into the seventh that they would not relinquish.
Husson starter Amanda Ryan (Brewer, ME) ended up with a no-decision, pitching the first four innings while giving up two earned runs. Alannah Healy (Brockton, MA) went the rest of the way giving up four runs, but ultimately coming out with the win improving to 3-0 on the season. Bobcats starter Kelsey Freedman pitched all six innings giving up 11 earned runs, falling to 5-10 on the season.
Bates started off quickly in game two, loading the bases for Maddie Inlow who brought home the game's first run with a sacrifice fly.
The Eagles would answer right back, as Lyndsay Merrill (Bethel, ME) blasted a two-run homer of her own in the bottom of the first to give the Eagles the lead.
Husson would extend the advantage in the bottom of the third, as Kayla Merril scored a run off an infield single from Martin which put the eagles up 3-1.
The game would quiet down as Kayla Merrill was in control pitching four straight scoreless innings, until the top of the sixth when Bobcats catcher Melissa Paione tied the game at 3-3 with a two-run blast that clanged off the scoreboard in left field.
The Eagles responded quickly in the bottom of the sixth, scoring two runs on four singles. Kayla Merrill notched her sixth RBI of the day to help give herself the lead going into the top of the last inning.
After giving up a single to start the seventh, Merrill recorded three consecutive outs to improve to 10-3 on the season. Breanna Callahan pitched six innings for the Bobcats, giving up five earned runs and falling to 3-7 on the season.
"We came out for two great games today," reflected Husson coach Kristie Hawkins after the sweep.
"People stepped into big roles and just further showed us how deep our bench can be," she added. "It was good to see we can bounce back and pull out two solid wins, this is just what we needed to send us into conference play tomorrow."
Husson softball now faces two important games tomorrow against NAC foe Thomas College. If the Eagles win both contests, they will clinch the #1 seed and home-field advantage for the upcoming NAC playoff tournament. First pitch of the doubleheader is set for 4 p.m. at O'Keefe Field.