UMF softball takes game two off Bates in extra innings

UMF softball takes game two off Bates in extra innings

LEWISTON, Maine – The University of Maine at Farmington and Bates College split their non-conference doubleheader on Monday, with Bates winning game one, 7-3, before the visiting Beavers won game two, 8-5, in eight innings to complete a dramatic comeback.

Bates led 4-2 through six innings in game two, but Amy Jones' (Augusta, Maine/Cony) one-out, two-run home run to center field sent the game into extra innings, after Bates failed to move back ahead in the bottom of the seventh. Jones' homer was her first of the season; she finished the game 3-for-4 with four runs batted in.

The Beavers then exploded for four more runs in the eighth, getting three straight bunt hits to score Casey Mull (Portland, Maine/Cheverus) with the go-ahead run before Bates starting pitcher Brenna Callahan was replaced by Kelsey Freedman, with no outs yet recorded and the bases loaded.

Freedman retired the first two batters she faced, but then walked Jones to make it 6-4. Shelby Bryant's (South Portland, Maine/Catherine McAuley) bloop single into shallow left then brought home Jillian Withee (Salem Township, Maine/Mt. Abram) and Allison White (Sidney, Maine/Cony) for an 8-4 lead.

Bates managed just one run in the bottom of the inning; Freedman was placed on second to start the frame. UMF pitcher Emma Vaillancourt (Saco, Maine/Thornton Academy) retired the two batters she faced, but Freedman came home on a UMF error that extended the inning. Anna Berenson singled to keep Bates alive, but Vaillancourt struck out Mary Deneen to end the game with two Bates runners left on.

Bates assumed a 2-0 lead after one inning. Mary Lewis drew a leadoff walk, stole second base (one of her six steals on the day), then scored on AnnaMarie Martino's double to left field. Martino then stole third base and scored Bates' second run on an errant throwout attempt.

UMF struck back to tie the game with two runs in the top of the fifth, but the damage could have been worse. Callahan walked three straight batters, setting up RBI singles for Meryl Bond (Jefferson, Maine/Erskine Academy) and Jones, before she left the bases loaded with two straight outs.

Bates then assumed a two-run lead in the bottom of the frame. Deneen walked to lead off, and Martino followed with a one-out single. Both Deneen and Martino then scored on a two-base throwing error by the Beavers.

White was 2-for-3 and scored two runs in the game for UMF, while Bryant was 2-for-5 with two RBIs. Vaillancourt was charged with five runs (two earned) on six hits and five walks over eight innings, while striking out six.

Bates took charge of the day's first game early, getting two runs in the first, three more in the second and two in the fourth for a 7-0 lead. All but one of Bates' runs were unearned, thanks to seven UMF errors (three in both the first and second innings), helping the Bobcats hand UMF starter Emily Soule (Chelsea, Maine/Cony) her first loss of the season.

Bates starting pitcher Caroline Gattuso cruised through the first six innings unscathed, before the Beavers plated three unearned runs in the seventh, two of them on a two-run double by Jones that also ended the game, as Jones was tagged out off of second base on the play. Gattuso allowed six hits and two walks while striking out four.

Lewis reached base safely in all four of her plate appearances in the game, including three singles. Martino was 2-for-4 with two runs and one RBI.

UMaine-Farmington faces Bowdoin College in a doubleheader on Tuesday, April 16, at 3:30 p.m., while Bates will head to Gorham, Maine, to play the University of Southern Maine also in a 3:30 p.m. start.