Mary Caron: 2017 Academic All-American

Southern Maine Splits With St. Joseph’s College 2-1, 2-7 in Home Opener

Freshman Maidson Greene struck out nine in her first collegiate win.
Freshman Maidson Greene struck out nine in her first collegiate win.

            GORHAM, Maine   – Freshman Madison Greene (Moultonborough, N.H./Mountonborough) earned her first collegiate win and junior Amber Kelly (Berwick, Maine/Noble) and senior Shelby Obert (Norridgewock, Maine/Skowhegan) each drove in a run to lead the University of Southern Maine Huskies to a 2-1 win over the St. Joseph's College (Maine) Monks in their home-opener Tuesday afternoon at the USM Softball Stadium.  The win was the first for the Huskies' in their brand new state-of-the-art stadium.   Southern Maine fell 7-2 to SJC in the second game.

            With the split, Southern Maine remains even on the season at 8-8.  The opening game loss snapped a four-game win streak for the Monks who are now 8-10 with the split.

GAME ONE: Southern Maine 2, St. Joseph's 1

            Greene spun a gem the circle notching a career-high nine strikeouts to pace the Huskies to a 2-1 win over the Monks.  Greene limited St. Joseph's to five hits and gave up three walks over seven full to earn her first collegiate win. Kelly and Obert each had RBIs for Southern Maine, which scored both of its runs in the bottom of the fifth to break up a scoreless contest.

            With SJC starter sophomore Kristal Smith (Pittston, Maine/Gardiner) pitching well, the Huskies were limited to just three singles over the first four innings before having their bats come alive in the bottom of the fifth for four hits.  Sophomore Brittany Plowman (Scarborough, Maine) started the inning with a single to third base, and advanced to third on a wild pitch and a passed ball.  With a runner in scoring position, Kelly delivered with an infield single deep into the short stop position to put USM up 1-0.  Senior Mary Caron (Lewiston, Maine/St. Dominic) followed up with a single up the middle before Obert strided to the plate and laced a single to center to score Kelly.  USM looked to tack on another run when junior Courtney Davis (Woburn, Mass.) hit a shot to center, but was snuffed out on an outstanding catch from SJC senior Carla Tripp (Lovell, Maine/Fryeburg Academy).

            The Monks trimmed the lead to 2-1 in the top of the seventh on a double from Smith.  SJC looked to have a big inning, but a pair of outstanding defensive plays from the Huskies.  Husky sophomore Brooke Cross (Saco, Maine/Thornton Academy) robbed Mariah Harrison of a sure extra-base hit with a running grab at the warning track to record USM's first out of the inning.   USM ended the inning with a fantastic relay to cut down Smith as she attempted for an extra base on her double. Kelly connected with junior Taylor Lux (Arundel, Maine/Thornton Academy) on the relay and Obert hit the tag for the final out. 

            Unable to add an insurance USM went down in order in the bottom of the sixth, Greene took care of business in the Monks' final at bat retiring the side on a pair of strikeouts and getting a hustle foul out catch from Davis.

            GAME TWO: St. Joseph's 7, Southern Maine 2

            The Monks scored three runs in the top of the first and the top of the second to stake a 6-0 lead early in the second game of the doubleheader and never looked back en route to a 7-2 win.  SJC connected for its seven runs on 12 hits, while taking advantage of one Huskies' fielding error.  Sophomore Melodie Bailey (Lebanon, Maine/Noble) was 2-for-4 at the plate with a run scored and three RBIs to lead SJC, while senior Mariah Harrison (Buxton, Maine/Bonny Eagle) was 3-for-4 with two RBI.

            Freshman Caitlyn King (Old Town, Maine) earned the win in the circle for SJC, pitching 5.1 innings and allowing one earned run on seven hits and one walk.  Southern Maine starter junior Haeli Campbell (Manchester, N.H./Gofftown) took the loss and was chased out of the first inning after facing just four batters.  She allowed three runs, two earned, on two hits and a walk. 

            USM freshman Tabatha Hirsch (Coral Springs, Fla./South Plantation) was 2-for-3 at the plate with an RBI, while Obert was 2-for-3 in game two.


            Southern Maine hosts Bowdoin College in a non-conference doubleheader on Wednesday (3:30 p.m.).  St. Joseph's will face Emmanuel at home on Wednesday (3:30 p.m.) for a doubleheader.