May 2, 2014

NAC Softball Championship Day 1: Husson, Castleton, Thomas, UMF, and Lyndon State Advance

Bangor, ME – Top-seeded Husson University softball earned the right to host the 2014 NAC Softball Championships from Friday, May 2 to Sunday, May 4. The tournament was set in a six team double elimination format, and Husson kicked off the day with a 10 AM game on Friday against the sixth seeded Johnson State Badgers.

Game 1: Husson 8, Johnson State 0 (5 Innings)

Johnson held Husson to two scoreless innings before the Eagles took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the third. Haley Spiers (Rochester, NH) and Sami Schultz (Hermon, ME) scored off a Kayla Merrill (Bethel, ME), recently named North Atlantic Conference Player of the Year, triple.

Merrill struck again in the fifth inning with a three-run homerun that put Husson ahead 5-0. She drove Mallory Conary (Warren, ME) and Spiers home. A Casey Lopes (New Bedford, MA), 2014 NAC Rookie of the Year, double extended Husson's lead to 6-0 in the fifth, as she drove Lyndsay Merrill (Bethel, ME) in for a score. A single from Jess Poulin (Albion, ME) ended the game with two RBI, sending Lopes and Breanna Martin (Oxford, ME) home for the win.

Amanda Ryan (Brewer, ME) gave up just one hit while pitching a complete five inning game for Husson. Her record improves to 10-6 on the year.

Andrea Williams pitched 4.1 innings for Johnson in the loss and gave up nine hits and eight runs. Alex Bean led the Badgers' offense with one hit.

Eagles head coach Kristie Hawkins said, "The girls came out hard today with defense and we made the correction to get the bats going. We were strong on the mound and that set the tone for the game. I think the big key here was the team being loud, which carried into every inning and the final out. It was a good start to the tournament, and we're hoping to keep this going throughout the weekend."

Husson will face the loser of the #3 Farmington vs. #4 Thomas game at 10 AM on Saturday, while Johnson will face the loser of the #2 Castleton vs. #5 Lyndon State game at 4 PM on Friday.

Game 2: Castleton 5, Lyndon State 0

Katie Gagne (Highgate, VT) led the way for the Spartans batting in three runs on three hits to secure the victory and the right to play the winner of game 3, tomorrow Saturday, May 3rd at Noon.

Gagne doubled in Stephanie Sylvester (Swanton, VT) to put the first runs on the board for the Spartans, Ruby Bushey (Fletcher, VT) singled up the middle to bring in Gagne to make it 2-0 after the bottom of the 2nd.

The Spartans would strike again in the bottom of the third when Gagne singled through the left side bringing in Brittany Brayman (Hartford, NY) and Jessica Babcock (Fairfax, VT) making it 4-0.

Castleton scored a lone run in the bottom of the 6th when Bushey singled to center field, bringing in Hunter Pedro (Orwell, VT) who was in to pinch run for Gagne who doubled to right center.

Kayla Wood (Drummerston, VT) grabbed 9 strikeouts in 7 innings pitched for the Spartans, while Katie Davis pitched 6 innings for the Hornets, giving up just 3 earned runs.

Lyndon State will go on to play in game 4 of the tournament, scheduled for 4:00 PM today, against Johnson State.

Game 3: Thomas 6, Maine-Farmington 0

In Game 3, #3 UMaine-Farmington took on #4 Thomas. The Terriers were quick to put four runs on the board in the first inning. Karrie Loren hit a single with the bases loaded, advancing Lauren Hachey to third and driving Courtney Veilleux and Alyssa Eugley home.

Hachey scored on the next play off a Taylor Bergeron single, and Bergeron went on to score Thomas' fourth run of the inning, advancing home on a wild pitch. UMF put forth a comeback effort in the bottom of the inning but was unable to get on the board, stranding three on base.

The second and third innings were scoreless, and the Terriers extended their lead to six in the top of the fourth inning. Eugley took a pitch to the helmet and later scored an unearned run as Laren reached first on an error. On a throwing error on the next play, Hachey scored an unearned run.

A scoreless fifth, sixth, and seventh inning sealed the win for Thomas. Kelsey Crowe pitched seven innings for the Terriers, allowing eight hits and improving her record to 9-6 on the year.

Emily Soule pitched seven innings for UMF, allowing five hits and six runs. Hannah Lust and Alison Hamilton led the UMF offense, going 3-for 3 and 2-for-3, respectively.

With the win, Thomas will advance to play Castleton in Game 6 at 12 PM on Saturday. Farmington will play top-seeded host Husson in Game 5 at 10 AM on Saturday.

Game 4: Lyndon State 6, Johnson State 2

In Game 4, the final game of day one, #5 Lyndon State took on #6 Johnson State in an elimination game. Johnson went up early in the bottom of the first inning, scoring an unearned run as Sarah Voorhis advanced to first on a fielding error and Anna Bingham scored.

The Hornets responded with one run in the top of the second inning in a similar scenario. Jillian Emery singled then advanced to third on a throwing error. Mindy Carl later advanced to first on a fielding error, and Emery scored.

An Emery single in the top of the third sent Katie Ste. Marie across the plate for Lyndon's second run of the game. Two batters later, a wild pitch sent Shelby Sheridan home and gave the Hornets a 3-1 lead. Lyndon State got on the board yet again in the top of the fifth inning. Dakota Crane doubled to get on base and then scored off a Jena Finnegan single. A sacrifice fly from Crane in the seventh inning sent Ste. Marie home, and the Hornets went up 5-1. Emery followed up with her second RBI of the game, sending Finnegan home on a single.

Johnson was unable to overcome the five-run deficit in the bottom of the seventh, despite a solid effort. Andrea Williams homered with one out to make it 6-2, but that would end the Badgers' playoff run.

Williams pitched seven innings for Johnson, giving up six runs on 11 hits. Katie Davis pitched a complete game for Lyndon State and gave up two runs on five hits.

The Hornets will advance to Game 7 on Saturday, with an opponent to be determined. Johnson State ends its season 6-23.


Day 2 Match-Ups:

Game 5, 10:00 AM: #1 Husson vs. #3 Maine-Farmington

Game 6, 12:00 PM: #2 Castleton vs. #4 Thomas

Game 7, 2:00 PM: #5 Lyndon State vs. TBD

Game 8, 4:00 PM: TBD