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Kelly Leads USM to a 3-2 Win Over Elmhurst

Junior Amber Kelly
Junior Amber Kelly

            CLERMONT, Fla.  – Junior Amber Kelly (Berwick, Maine/Noble) picked up her first win of the season and senior Shelby Obert (Norridgewock, Maine/Skowhegan) drove in two runs to lead the University of Southern Maine Huskies to a 3-2 win over the Elmhurst College Bluejays in their second game of the day to salvage a split on the second day of USM's spring break games.  Southern Maine fell to Worcester State 6-0 in its first game of the day.

            With the split, Southern Maine stands at 2-2 on the season.  Elmhurst is 1-3, while Worcester State is 1-0 after playing in its season-opener.

GAME ONE: Worcester State 6, Southern Maine 0

            Worcester State Mary McKeown fired a seven-inning shutout to lead the Lancers to its season-opening win over the Huskies.  McKeown scattered six hits and three walks over the full course of the game and picked up a pair of striketouts.  McKeown was aided by RBIs from Courtney Salisbury, Sydney Despres, Kayla Humphrey and Kalulani Ennis.  Salisbury was 2-for-3 at the plate with an RBI and two runs scored to pace the Worcester State offense.

            WSU went ahead 3-0 in the bottom of the second converting three hits, two walks, a passed ball and a wild pitch into three runs.  All three of WSU's runs came after two outs, including an RBI single to left field from Ennis, and a run-scoring single throught the left side from Salisbury.  WSU tacked on three more runs in the bottom of the fourth, highlighted by an RBI double to left center from Humphrey.

            Freshman Erin Martin (Biddeford, Maine) was the only Husky to collect more than one hit in the game, going 2-for-2.  Senior Shelby Obert (Norridgewock, Maine/Skowhegan) was 1-for-2 with a double and a walk.  Freshman Alexis Brown (Malden, Mass.) took the loss for USM allowing six runs (five earned) on nine hits and five walks in four innings.   She had six strikeouts.  Freshman Madison Greene (Moultonborough, N.H./Moultonborough Academy) pitched the final two innings.  Greene did not allow a run and yielded just one hit against seven batters faced. 

GAME TWO:

            Kelly, a 2016 All-Little East Conference second team selection as a sophomore, scattered six hits and walk over seven innings to lead USM to the win.  Kelly gave up two runs (none earned) and picked up four strikeouts to improve to 1-1 on the season.

            After a scoreless two and a half innings, Southern Maine jumped ahead of the Bluejays with two runs in the bottom of the third.  After back-to-back singles from freshman Erin Martin (Biddeford, Maine) and senior Mary Caron (Lewiston, Maine/St. Dominic's), Obert stroked a two-out, two-run single to center field to collect her team-leading fourth RBI of the season.

            Elmhurst took one run back in the top of the fifth on an RBI single to left center field from sophomore Ellie Braun (Winfield, Ill./West Chicago).  The Bluejays took advantage of an infield fielding error on the part of the Huskies to set up the scoring opportunity for Braun. 

            With its lead trimmed to one run, USM responded in the bottom of the inning with another run to make it 3-1.  Junior Taylor Lux (Arundel, Maine/Thornton Academy) led off the inning with a single, and then used her speed to advance to third on a passed ball.  With one out, Lux came around to score on a fielder's choice RBI from Caron. 

            The Bluejays attempted a rally in the top of the sixth, securing one run on two hits and two USM fielding errors, cutting their deficit to 3-2.  Elmhurst started the inning with back-to-back singles from senior Bri Getzloff (Midlothian, Ill./Oak Forest) and sophomore Rebekah Ondracek (Downers Grove, Ill./Downers Grove South).  The Huskies recorded their first out, as Ondracek was cut down trying to extend her single into a double; however she successfully advanced Getzloff to third.  Getzloff came around to score on a fielder's choice RBI from senior Mikayla Melone (Minooka, Ill.).  With a throwing error on the play, Melone was able to advance to second to put herself in scoring position with one out.  Kelly then forced a pop up to make it two outs and a runner on second.  Another Husky error made it two outs and runners on first and second, before Kelly closed the door on the inning with a ground out. 

            The Huskies were quiet in the bottom of the sixth and remained in front by a run, 3-2, before rolling up the game in the top of the seventh.  Kelly retired the Bluejays in order to hold on for the win with a pop up, a strikeout and a line out.

            Freshman Emily Despain (Grand Ridge, Ill./Ottawa) took the loss for Elmhurst allowing two earned runs on four hits and a walk.  Despain had four strikeouts for Elmhurst in six innings.  

UP NEXT:

            Southern Maine takes Monday off and then returns to action against Oberlin (2:00 p.m.) and Hamilton (4:30 p.m.) on Tuesday.

-cac-