Mary Caron: 2017 Academic All-American

Huskies Drop Two to Allegheny, Hendrix: 4-3, 6-2

Senior Mary Caron.
Senior Mary Caron.
       CLERMONT, Fla.  – Senior Mary Caron (Lewiston, Maine/St. Dominic Academy) went 5-for-8 at the plate to highlight a pair of losses for the University of Southern Maine Huskies' softball team.  Southern Maine fell in extra-innings 4-3 to the Allegheny College Gators and then fell 6-2 to the Hendrix College Warriors.

With the pair of losses Southern Maine stands at 5-5 through its opening 10 games of the season.  Allegheny improved to 3-8 with its extra-innings win over the Huskies, while Hendrix evens its record out to 12-12. 

GAME ONE: Allegheny 4, Southern Maine 3 – Eight Innings

             Trailing 3-1 in the bottom of the eighth, Allegheny sophomore Jessica Valerino (Liverpool, N.Y.) stroked a two-run double to left field for the walk-off to lead the Gators to a 4-3 win over the Huskies.  The hit was the first of the game for Valerino, who finished the game 1-for-3 at the plate. 

            Allegheny sophomore Kala Mahen (Mercer, Pa.) earned the win in the circle going the full eight innings.  She allowed three runs (one earned) on six hits and a one walk. Mahen struck out three.  Southern Maine freshman Alexis Brown (Malden, Mass.) started the game, and pitched 5.1 innings.  Brown turned in a strong performance allowing one run (unearned) on four hits and a walk.  Brown recorded five strikeouts before being lifted for junior Haeli Campbell (Manchester, N.H./Goffstown).  Campbell took the loss for USM pitching 2.1 innings, allowing three runs (two earned) on three hits, while striking out four. 

            In a scoreless game, Southern Maine to a 1-0 lead in the top of the fifth on a sacrifice fly RBI from junior Taylor Lux (Arundel, Maine/Thornton Academy). Lux drove in Campbell, who led off the inning reaching safely via an Allegheny fielding error.  Campbell advanced to third after a pinch-hit single to center field from freshman Tabatha Hirsch (Coral Springs, Fla./South Plantation), and a hit batsmen. 

            USM remained in front of the Gators until the bottom of the sixth when the Huskies' yielded an unearned run. After back-to-back one-out singles from Jessica Gordon (Pittsburgh, Pa.) and Jessica Zavolta (Level Green, Pa.), Gordon came around to score on a passed ball.  Campbell entered the game for Brown after the passed ball and recorded the final two outs.

            The game remained tied through seven innings, and the Huskies struck first in the top of the eight.  With USM's Lux was placed on second for NCAA tie-breaking procedures to start the inning, Caron led off the innings for the Huskies with a triple to the right field gap for an RBI.  Caron scored the second run of the game on an RBI sacrifice bunt from senior Shelby Obert (Norridgewock, Maine/Skowhegan) for a 3-1 USM lead heading into the bottom of the eighth.  

            In the Allegheny half of the inning, USM recorded the first out on a pop up, before Paige Blinkiewicz (Kalamazoo, Mich.) singled to center for an RBI to score the Gators' runner on second.  Gordon lined out to centerfield to make it a 3-2 USM lead with two outs, before Zavolta singled to third base to give Allegheny runners on first and third with two outs, setting up Valerino's game-winning double.


GAME TWO: Hendrix 6, Southern Maine 2

             Sophomore Karli Sewell (Castroville, Texas) went 3-for-4 at the plate with two runs scored and three RBI to lead the Warriors to a 6-2 win over the Huskies.  Warrior sophomore Savannah Draud (Savannah, Ga.) earned the win in the circle scattering nine hits and two walks over seven innings, allowing two earned runs. 

            Southern Maine starter Amber Kelly (Berwick, Maine/Noble) took the loss for USM allowing five earned runs on seven hits and a walk in 4.2 innings.  Brown relieved Kelly for 1.1 innings allowing one hit, before sophomore Crystal West (South Paris, Maine/Oxford Hills) closed the game pitching one inning allowing one run (unearned) on one hit. 

            Hendrix went ahead 2-0 in the top of the first on RBI singles from Sewell and sophomore Emily Stockalper (Springdale, Ark.), before USM rallied to tie the game at two runs in the bottom of the fourth.  Kelly smacked a two run single to center field to score Obert and Caron.  Caron led off the inning with a single through the right side, while Obert drew a walk.

            Hendrix answered right back however, scoring three runs in the top of the fifth.  Sewell hit an RIB single, while senior Sydney Ozersky (Ballwin, Mo.) and Stockalper each hit RBI doubles. USM had a scoring threat in the bottom of the sixth, when junior Courtney Davis (Woburn, Mass.) hit a one out double.  Davis' double moved Hirsch, who reached on a single to the left side, to third, but USM's final two batters went down swinging to end the threat. Sewell added an insurance run for the Warriors in the top of the seventh with her third hit of the game for an RBI single.


            Southern Maine takes on Buffalo State (9:00 a.m.) and MIT (2:00 p.m.) on Saturday in their final two games of their Spring trip.