GORHAM, Maine --Stefanie Stockwell and sophomore Kristen Duross each hit home runs in support of strong pitching effort from senior Jesse Hutchins to help the University of Southern Maine Huskies to a non-conference softball doubleheader split with the Bates College Bobcats.
Southern Maine defeated Bates 5-4 in the opener and then fell 5-2 in eight innings in the second game.
Bates senior Mary Lewis (Gardiner, Maine) set the Bobcats' career stolen bases record with two swipes in each game, bringing her to 48 in her career. The former record of 45 was established last season by Karen Ullmann '12.
With the split Southern Maine improves to 6-24 on the season. The 5-4 win in the opener marks the first win for the Huskies over Bates in the previous six games in the series. Earning the win in the nightcap, Bates improves to 7-11.
Game 1 Recap
Hutchins earned the win for USM in the opener, scattering six hits and two walks over seven innings while allowing one earned run. She struck out eight batters. Bates senior Caroline Gattuso (North Reading, Mass.) took the loss, allowing four earned runs on five hits and a walk. Gattuso had five strikeouts.
Stockwell led off the Huskies’ bottom of the first with her team-high third home run of the season with a solo shot to left field to spot USM a 1-0 lead. Stockwell drove in one of the Huskies’ two runs in the bottom of the second and scored their second, stroking a two-out triple to score Nicole Nutter. Nutter kept the Huskies alive in the inning drawing one of her three walks of the doubleheader. Stockwell came around to score on a Bates’ fielding error.
With Hutchins not allowing a Bates hitter to advance past second through the top of the fifth inning, USM took its 3-0 lead into the home half, tacking on a pair of insurance runs. Katie Davis connected for a two-out single to left center and then came home on Duross’s first collegiate home run, for a 5-0 lead.
Bates rallied in the sixth for three runs led by RBI singles from sophomore Kelsey Freedman (Falmouth, Maine) and first-year Alex Eliopoulos (Akron, Ohio). Bates scored three runs, two unearned, on three hits while capitalizing on a Huskies’ fielding error.
Gattuso set the Huskies’ 7-8-9 batters down in order as Bates trailed 5-3 headed into the seventh. Bates senior Mary Lewis (Gardiner, Maine) led off the inning with a single and then stole second to set herself up in scoring position. After a ground out to move Lewis to third, Gattuso drove Lewis in on an RBI groundout for a 5-4 USM lead with two out. Freedman reached with a single in Bates’ next at bat before Hutchins bounced back to end the game with her eighth strikeout.
Game 2 Recap
In the second game both teams received solid pitching efforts, with Bates’ Freedman (3-4) coming out on top for the win. Freedman fired eight strong innings, allowing two runs on seven hits and four walks, while striking out eight. Stockwell allowed four earned runs in eight innings on eight hits and three walks. Stockwell also recorded eight strikeouts.
With the game tied at 1-1 after seven full innings, Bates scored four runs in the top of the eight to earn the win. With a runner placed on second per extra inning rules, Lewis successfully sacrificed sophomore Brenna Callahan (Milton, Mass.) to third with a bunt before senior AnnaMarie Martino (Plymouth, Minn.) drilled a double down the left-field line for a 2-1 Bates lead. Freedman followed with a single down the left field line to score Martino. A single by Gattuso moved had runners at first and second for the Bobcats with one out, before the Huskies got a pop out for the second out of the inning.
With two outs, Bates tacked on two more runs and increased its lead to 5-1 on RBI singles from first-year Karen Lockhart (East Greenwich, R.I.) and sophomore Alayna Garbarino (Reading, Mass.) before Stockwell ended the inning with a line out.
In the home half of the eight, Nutter drove in Cara Radino to trim the deficit to 5-2 with two outs and the Huskies had runners on first and second but Gattuso got the strike out to end the game.
Bates hosts Bowdoin on Friday at 4pm to start a three-game NESCAC East Division series (Video).