TAMPA, Fla. -- The University of Maine softball team picked up its first victory of the season as it defeated Western Michigan by a score of 2-1 on Tuesday morning. Maine dropped game two of the day to South Florida, 8-0, in five innings.
In game one against Western Michigan, freshmen Felicia Lennon (Brookfield, Conn.) and Samantha Ralphs (Lebanon, Ill.) each tallied a pair of hits and an RBI to lead the Black Bears to their first win of 2014. Kylie Sparks (Kirkland, Wash.) picked up the complete game victory in the circle for Maine.
Jessica Burk (Warrenton, Va.) began Maine's half of the second inning with a single into right before moving up on a groundout from EmJ Fogel (Vienna, Va.). Samantha Ralphs' one-out double to the gap in right center brought Burk around for the game's first run.
Western Michigan answered in the bottom of the inning when Marlee Wilson's double to center scored Loren Nagy, knotting the score at 1-1.
Maine came up clutch in the top of the seventh as it was able to regain the lead. Jean Stevens (Albany, Ore.) worked a leadoff walk and was replaced on the base path by Shelby Obert (Skowhegan, Maine). Obert stole second, moving Maine's go-ahead run into scoring position. With two outs in the inning, Lennon stroked a single up the middle, scoring Obert from second..
Sparks closed out a threat from the Broncos in the bottom of the seventh to pick the first victory of the season for the Black Bears.
Sparks moves to 1-1 on the season as she picked up the complete game victory after giving up just one run on eight hits while striking out five.
The Black Bears bats fell silent in game two as they were held to just one hit against South Florida, dropping the contest 8-0 in five-innings to the Bulls. Burk picked up the lone hit for the Black Bears with a single in the fourth.
The Bulls were hot out of the gate as they jumped out to a 5-0 lead after one inning of play thanks in part to Lee Ann Spivey's grand slam.
South Florida tacked on two more runs in the bottom of the second, one earned, before adding a single run in the home half of the fifth to give them the 8-0 run rule.
Maine's best chance came in the fourth when Samantha Ralphs worked a one-out walk before advancing to third on Burk's single to right.
Erin Bogdanovich (South Portland, Maine) struggled in her first start for the Black Bears as she gave up five runs on four hits and two walks in the first inning. Bogdanovich was replaced by her sister Alexis Bogdanovich (South Portland, Maine) who tossed 4.1 innings while giving up three runs on eight hits with a pair of walks.
Maine returns to action on Thursday, March 6 when it meets Cleveland State for a doubleheader beginning at 12 PM.