Beavers play longball to beat NEC

Beavers play longball to beat NEC

WENHAM, Mass. – University of Maine at Farmington freshman Kennadi Grover belted two home runs as part of the Beavers' 21-hit onslaught in a season opening doubleheader sweep of North Atlantic Conference rival New England College, Wednesday afternoon at the Gordon College Softball Field.

The Beavers posted an 8-0 win over the Pilgrims in game one, behind sophomore Emily Soule's nine-strikeout complete game shutout effort in the circle. UMaine-Farmington completed the sweep with a 6-4 win in game two.

Senior Amy Jones, hitting in the third spot, slammed a two-run home run in the bottom of the first inning, giving UMaine-Farmington (2-0, 2-0 NAC) all the runs it would need to carry the game one win.

Farmington added a single run in the second and two runs in the fourth, extending its lead to 5-0.

The Beavers put the game away on the "mercy rule" with three runs in the sixth. Freshman Katie Clark hit a solo round-tripper, and junior Hannah Lust's two-run single into center field plated sophomore Shelby Bryant and freshman Natasha DeRoche to bring the game to a halt.

Soule scattered three hits and surrendered one walk in the victory. NEC starter Olivia Stanley yielded five earned runs on nine hits in the loss.

Clark and senior Jillian Withee each had a pair of hits, while Jones and Lust each went 1-for-4 with two runs batted in. Bryant went 1-for-4 at the plate with one RBI, but crossed for three of the Beavers' eight runs.

In game two, Grover slammed two-run homers in the first and third innings, both times plating Jones. Her home run in the first tied the game at 2-2, after the Pilgrims got on the board with two runs in the top of the first.

NEC grabbed the early lead on Alexandra Swanson's double to left field, with an error charged to the UMF left fielder for an extra base.

Grover's home run in the third gave Farmington a 4-2 lead, which was 5-2 by the end of the frame on freshman Alison Hamilton's RBI single into center field. The Beavers plated another run in the fourth, as Grover had to settle for a single that scored freshman Cassidy Morrow.

New England College (4-6, 0-2 NAC) rallied with one run in the sixth and an unearned run in the seventh, cutting the margin to 6-4.

Soule pitched her second complete game win of the day with the victory in game two, fanning seven Pilgrims and allowing just three earned runs on eight hits. Jessamine Phillips went the distance in game two for NEC, but did not record a strikeout and was charged with six earned runs on 12 hits.

Grover finished game two with a more-than-adequate 4-for-4 effort at the plate with two runs scored and five RBI, and was 5-for-7 over the two games in her collegiate softball debut. Jones was 2-for-4 at the plate in game two, while six other players had one hit apiece.

Swanson was 3-for-4 at the plate for the Pilgrims with two RBI. Taylor Belsito had a pair of hits.

UMaine-Farmington returns to the diamond on Tuesday, April 8, when the Beavers travel to Brunswick, Maine, to face Bowdoin College – field conditions permitting.

-30-