Bangor, Maine - The Husson University Eagles came back with a vengeance in the second day of the North Atlantic Conference (NAC) Tournament scoring 13 runs while blanking the Pilgrims of New England College in an elimination game at O'Keefe Field Saturday morning. Husson improves to 30-11 on the season, and will advance to play the loser between Castleton State and Thomas College who square off at noon. The next game for Husson is scheduled at approximately 2:00 pm. NEC falls to 20-19 on the year and are eliminated from the tournament with their second loss in as many days.
In the circle for the Eagles was sophomore Becca McCarty (Skowhegan, Maine), who threw a strong three-scoreless innings, keeping the Pilgrims hitless on a walk and three strikeouts. McCarty earned the win, her 15th on the season. First year south paw Deb Colpitts (Levant, Maine) finnished off the shutout, going two innings, allowing three hits, one walk and struck out one.
For the Pilgrims, starter Gabrielle Timms (Clark Summit, Pa.) was tagged with the loss, going four innings, allowing 10 runs (seven earned) on 12 hits and two walks while striking out one. Timms falls below .500 for the season with a record of 10-11.
Offensively, the fabulous first year duo of Ashley Smith (Ellsworth, Maine) and Victoria Overlock (Belfast, Maine) continued to pace the Eagle offense. Overlock was 2-3 at the plate with a walk and a first inning blast over the left field wall, scoring four runs and adding an RBI. Smith was 3-4 at the dish with an RBI and two runs scored. Fellow rookie Heidi Shaw (Manchester, Maine) turned in a 3-3 day at the plate, scoring twice and driving in another run. Brianna Webster (Belfast, Maine) went 2-4 while scoring twice, and Aimee Mortensen (Biddeford, Maine) followed suit with a 2-4 performance of her own, scoring once and chipping in an RBI.
New England College struggled to square up the ball off the Husson pitchers, but seemed to figure it out in the bottom of the fifth as they strung together their three hits of the game in consecutive order, but were unable to push runners across the plate.
The Eagles jumped out to an Early lead on the Overlock homer with two outs in the top of the first. After a 1-2-3 inning in the bottom half from McCarty, they kept the rally going in the second. Mortensen reached on a fielder's choice which resulted in the inning's second out. After she stole second, Morensen came in to score on Shaw's single up the middle. Lona Sargent (Sullivan, Maine) singled in similar fashion to plate the speedy Shaw and it was quickly 3-0.
McCarty continued to dominate in the circle with a two-strikeout second, which fed directly into a five run top of the third for Husson. After hanging two more in the fourth, and three in the fifth, the Pilgrims found themselves needing five runs to extend the game.
Despite loading the bases with no outs in the home half of the inning, the Eagles were able to keep the shut-out intact. Mortensen made a nice stab at the ball and fired home for one, and Shaw alertly turned the double play on a strike to third. Another ground ball fielder's choice dealt by Colpitts and the game would end with a final of 13-0.
The Eagles will pay close attention to game four of the NAC Tournament between Castleton State and Thomas College being played at noon on O'Keefe Field, as the loser faces off against Husson at 2:00 pm, and the winner will be granted a spot in the conference playoffs at noon on Sunday, with another game at 2:00 pm if necessary.