GORHAM, Maine -- In Division III softball action this afternoon, the University of Southern Maine Huskies and the visiting Bears of Bridgewater State College split a twinbill held at USm's Towers Field in Gorham, Maine.
Junior 1B Sabrina Mills (Westford, Mass./Westford Academy) singled home the game-winning run in the 10th inning as Southern Maine won game one of the twinbill, The Bears edged the Huskies, 3-2, in the night cap in a five-inning game that was called due to darkness.
With the split Southern Maine moves to 16-17 overall. The opening game loss halted a nine-game winning streak for the Bears who are now 21-15.
Mills singled up the middle to score USM sophomore 2B Tiffany Jordan (Bryant Pond, Maine/Telstar Regional). Jordan reached base safely on a fielder's choice and then stole second to put herself in scoring position.
Trailing 4-1 after five innings, Bridgewater State rallied to take the lead 5-4 in the top of the sixth scoring four runs on three hits, a pair of walks and a USM error. All four of the Bears' runs in the innings came after two outs. Freshman OF Tracey Sanko (Windsor, Conn.) drove in the Bears' first run with an RBI single, while junior OF Allie LeBlanc (Somerset, Mass.) brought Bridgewater State within a run of the Huskies, 4-3, drawing a bases loaded walk. Sophomore OF Meghan Noyes (Stoughton, Mass.) capped the Bears' rally driving in two runs with a single into center field for a 5-4 lead.
The Huskies rallied for a run in the bottom of the inning to knot the score up at 5-5, when freshman 3B Stacey Stuart (Belgrade, Maine/Messalonskee) doubled in a run off of the left field fence, scoring freshman OF Sarah Cusack (Wells, Maine). The score remained tied through regulation, forcing extra innings.
Bridgewater State struck first plating a run in the top of the ninth off of a one-out RBI double from Noyes. Noyes' second hit of the game scored junior SS Rachael Sprague (Duxbury, Mass.), who was placed on second to start the inning as part of the NCAA tie breaker rule. However, USM countered with a double of its own in the bottom the inning, when Stuart connected on her second double of the game to drive in Mills. Mills, who started the inning on second base, moved to third on a sacrifice bunt from sophomore OF India Lowe (Gloucester, Mass.).
USM senior pitcher Kristina Grondin (Sanford, Maine), who entered the game in relief in the sixth inning, was able to get out of the 10th unharmed, getting two of her six strikeouts to close out the inning, stranding a Bears' runner at third to earn the win. Grondin pitched four innings of solid relief for the Huskies, giving up two hits and an unearned run. Bridgewater State junior Alyssa Verronneau (Acushnet, Mass./New Bedford) took the loss for the Bears in 4.2 innings pitched. Verronneau gave up three runes, one earned, on three hits and two walks.
In the second game, Noyes and senior C Lindsey Allison (South Easton, Mass./Oliver Ames) each had RBI singles and freshman 1B Kate Youngstrom (Holden, Mass./Wachusett Regional) added a run-scoring ground out to lead the Bears to a 3-2 win.
Trailing 1-0 after the first inning, Allison and Youngstrom put their team ahead in the top of the second inning. Allison's singled to right field to plate the Bears' first run of the game, while Youngstrom's bases-loaded ground out provided her team with the go-ahead run.
Noyes' RBI single in the top of the fifth proved to be the game-winner for the Bears as the Huskies battled back for a run in the bottom of the fifth on an RBI single from Grondin. Noyes' finished the doubleheader with three hits and four runs batted in.
Verronneau (12-5) picked up the win for the Bears in the second game scattering nine hits over five innings while allowing two earned runs and striking out five. Grondin gave up three earned runs on four hits and two walks in the loss.
Southern Maine returns to action on Saturday (12:00 p.m.) at Keene State College for a Little East Conference doubleheader. Bridgewater State hosts the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts on Saturday (12 p.m.) in a MASCAC doubleheader.