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Softball Opens Season with 9-1 Win Over N.C. Central
SPARTANBURG, S.C. -- Jean Stevens (Albany, Ore.) went 2-for-4 with a home run and four RBI as the University of Maine softball squad opened its 2013 season with a 9-1 win over N.C. Central on Friday evening. Kristen Koslosky (Castro Valley, Calif.) added three hits for the Black Bears while Beth Spoehr (Appleton, Wis.) struck out five to earn the victory.
The Black Bears jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning. With two outs in the inning, Jessica Burk (Warrenton, Va.) began the rally with a double to the gap in right center. After Nikki Byron (Trabuco Canyon, Calif.) worked a walk and a single from Hannah Hill (Fryeburg, Maine) loaded the bases, Stevens ripped a double into centerfield, plating both Burk and Byron. Katlin Norton (South Portland, Maine) kept the Maine rally alive as her single through the left side plated Hill with Maine's third run of the inning.
The Eagles cut the Maine lead to 3-1 when London Germ's single turned into an unearned run in the top of the third.
Maine answered in the bottom of the inning as Hill worked a lead-off walk before Stevens homered to center, giving Maine a 5-1 lead and driving Eagle starter Bianka Molina out of the game. Maine kept the offensive attack on in the third as back-to-back walks from Norton and Chelsea Kunin (Carlsbad, Calif.) started another Maine rally. Makaila Kowalsky (Colchester, Conn.) flied out to left which allowed both Norton and Kunin to tag and advance. A throwing error on the play by the Eagle's catcher allowed Norton to score on the play. EmJ Fogel (Vienna, Va.) reached on an error which brought Kunin in from third with Maine's seventh run of the day.
The Black Bears extended their lead to 9-2 with a pair of runs in the bottom of the sixth. Burk began the inning with a single to short before Byron's groundout moved Burk to second. Hill then ripped a double to left center, scoring Burk. Stevens followed with a groundout, pushing Hill over to third before Norton reached on a throwing error which allowed Hill to score from third, giving Maine a seven run lead and ending the game on the run rule.
Spoehr picks up the win in the circle for Maine after tossing five innings while giving up two runs, one earned, on four hits with five strikeouts. Kylie Sparks (Kirkland, Wash.) went one inning in relief with a pair of strikeouts.
The Black Bears return to action tomorrow with a pair of games beginning at 12 PM with a contest against Western Carolina.