Thomas and Husson won the first two games of the 2019 North Atlantic Conference (NAC) Championship on a cold morning on the campus of Colby College. The Terriers and Eagles will face-off in Game 4 tomorrow, after UMaine-Farmington (UMF) and UMaine-Presque Isle (UMPI) compete to stay alive in Game 3 of the double-elimination tournament.
Game 1: #1 Thomas 4 / #4 UMF 3 BOX SCORE
The Beavers held the lead early with Kayleigh Oberg (Winthrop, Maine) and Leah Stevens (Ellsworth, Maine) scoring on an error to make it 2-0. The Terriers threatened in the bottom of the inning but stranded runners at the corners as UMF maintained their lead.
Both teams' bats went cold over the next three and a half innings until Thomas evened things up in the bottom of the fifth. Lauren Guppy (New Sharon, Maine) drove in the first Thomas run with a double down the left field line, then Bailey Dunphy (North Anson, Maine) drove her in with a triple that tied the game 2-2.
UMF got one run right back in the top of the sixth, with an Alyssa Dillan (Plymouth, Mass.) double bringing Justice Merrill (Readfield, Maine) in to score and give the Beavers back the lead at 3-2. After a scoreless bottom of the sixth and top of the seventh, the Terriers were down to their final out with a runner on second when Guppy hit a bloop single to right field that dropped between three fielders and forced extra innings.
With the international tiebreaker rule putting a runner on second for UMF to start the eighth, the Beavers bunted the runner over to third, but were unable to bring her home as the Terriers took over with a chance to win in the bottom of the eighth. After successfully moving the runner over with as sacrifice bunt, followed by a groundout to third, Kayla Bess (Madison, Maine) singled up the middle for the walk-off hit to give Thomas the 4-3 victory.
Kelsey Currier (Cumberland, Maine) earned the win in relief for Thomas, pitching four innings and allowing a run on one hit with five strikeouts. She took over for the starter, Katlyn Coulter (Jefferson, N.H.) who allowed two unearned runs and a hit in four innings.
Brianna McGrath (Lyman, N.H.) threw 7.2 innings in the loss, allowing three earned runs on seven hits with four strikeouts.
Game 2: #2 Husson 9 / #3 UMPI 6 BOX SCORE
The Eagles struck first with Bri Brochu (Pittston, Maine) scoring on a sacrifice fly in the top of the first to give Husson the early 1-0 edge. They added two more in the second with Arika Brochu (Augusta, Maine) and Kylie Cunningham (Bangor, Maine) scoring on an error to make it 3-0.
The Owls cut the lead in the third with a two-run single by Sarah Duncklee (Kearny, Ariz.) that brought the score to 3-2. Arika Brochu gave Husson another cushion with an RBI double in the fourth that pushed the lead to 4-2.
UMPI gained the lead for the first time in the sixth with back-to-back home runs, with a three-run homer by Melanee Terry (Moreno Valley, Calif.) followed by a Marissa Valdivia Reagle (Seattle, Wash.) solo shot that made it 6-4.
Husson answered with five runs in the bottom of the sixth to regain the lead for good. Arika and Bri Brochu scored on an error to tie the game, followed by a two-run homer by Olivia Smith (Calais, Maine) that gave them an 8-6 lead. Husson scored another run on an error to make the final score 9-6.
Jen Jones (Acton, Maine) pitched the complete-game win, allowing six runs on six hits with nine strikeouts for Husson.
Brookelynn Garcia (Torrance, Calif.) took the loss in relief, giving up five runs on nine hits in 3.1 innings of work. Valdivia Reagle started for UMPI and pitched the first 1.2 innings before being relieved by Garcia, then returned to the circle in the sixth for the final three outs of the innings. She allowed one earned run on four hits total.
Friday, May 3
Game 1: #1 Thomas 4 / #4 UMF 3
Game 2: #2 Husson 9 / #3 UMPI 6
Saturday, May 4
Game 3: UMF vs. UMPI - 12:30 PM
Game 4: Thomas vs. Husson - 3:00 PM
Game 5: Game 3 Winner vs. Game Game 4 Loser - 5:30 PM
Sunday, May 5
Game 6: Game 4 Winner vs. Game 5 Winner - 11:00 AM
Game 7: Game 6 Winner vs. Game 6 Loser (if necessary) - 1:30 PM