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Florida Gulf Coast Downs Maine 8-1 in Softball Action
TAMPA, Fla. -- The Black Bears hung close with Florida Gulf Coast until the Eagles busted out a six-run top of the sixth to take an 8-1 lead they would not relinquish. The loss slips Maine back to 0-3 on the year while Florida Gulf Coast improves to 2-1. Dagmar Ralphs (O'Fallon, Ill.) paced the Maine offense going 2-for-3 with a triple and an RBI.
With the game scoreless moving into the top of the fourth inning, Florida Gulf Coast was able to plate a pair of runs to take a 2-0 lead on back-to-back RBI singles by Brittney Garabedian and Kirsten Bembnowski.
The Black Bears answered with a run of their own in the home half of the fourth. Margaret Hilton (Lyndonville, Vt.) started things for Maine when she reached on a fielder's choice. After a flyout, Hilary Kane (Concord, N.H.) ripped a single into left field, moving Hilton up to second. With two outs in the inning, Ralphs roped a single into left, scoring Hilton on the play and bring Maine within a run after four innings.
The Eagles broke things open with a six run top of the sixth, giving them a 8-1 lead. Bembnowski drove in her second run of the game when she reached on a single which allowed Stephanie Kujawa to scamper in from third. Kayla Ramney pinch ran for Bembnowski and scored on a single by Kayla Gabel. With two away in the inning, Jessica Barnes singled to drive in Gabel with the third run of the inning. Kelsey Carpenter followed with a two-run homer to give the Eagles a six run advantage. Tori Williams then worked a walk before Chelsea Zgrabik drove her in with a double down the left field line. Beth Spoehr (Appleton, Wis.) was able to get Maine out of the inning as she came in for relief and struck out Kujawa.
The Black Bears failed to plate any runs the rest of the way, dropping the contest 8-1 to the Eagles.
Ashley Kelley (Hermon, Maine) gets the loss for Maine as she went 5.2 innings while giving up seven runs, six earned, on nine hits with one walk and five strikeouts. Spoehr went 1.1 while giving up three hits and one run with a walk and a strikeout.
The Black Bears return to action in their second game in a row with a 6 p.m. first pitch against Florida scheduled.