CANTON, New York - The University of Maine at Presque Isle softball team battled to a doubleheader loss to Sunrise Conference foe, SUNY Canton, in a pair of hard-fought and dramatic games on Sunday afternoon. The Canton Roos won 3-2 and 11-10. With both loses, the Lady Owls move to 12-11 on the season and 8-2 in conference play, as they secure the second seed in the Sunrise tournament next weekend at Regis College in Weston, Mass.
"There were two outstanding games by two very good teams," commented Head Coach Terry Cummings. "It's a tough end to our regular season; however, I'm looking forward to a great conference tournament next weekend."
The two teams were scheduled to play a third game on Sunday after being rained out on Saturday, but after SUNY Canton clinched the title in the second game, they decided not to play the third contest.
A raucous crowd was treated to a pair of entertaining and well-played contests that saw numerous and outstanding defensive and offensive plays, as well as a beautiful afternoon with temperatures climbing into the mid-50s.
In the first game of the afternoon, the Roos earned a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second
inning, and then plated another run in the fourth. The Owls fought their way back with one run in the top of the fifth inning; junior Kathleen Higgins (Cole Harbour, NS) earned a base-hit single, was advanced around the bases, then stole home to give the Owls their first run of the game.
Junior Carolynn Tuck (Brewer, ME)singled in the top of the seventh in a rally attempt by the Owls; Tuck plated a run and tied the game at 2-2.
In the bottom of the same inning, Canton earned a one-out single to center field and entered a pinch runner at first. After the Owls retired the next batter on a fly ball to center, the next Roo batter struck a 2-2 pitch off the fence in center field for a walk-off, RBI double, to earn the 3-2 victory.
Freshman Krista Coffin (Presque Isle, ME) led her team in a 2-for-2 effort from the plate, as the Owls scattered four hits and committed three errors.
Coffin allowed two earned runs, while walking two batters in four innings of work before getting injured in the top of the fifth; Krista did not return to the game. Junior hurler Emily Moore (Lisbon, ME) earned the loss in the game as she allowed one run, while striking out one and walking one batter in 2.2 innings of work.
SUNY Canton jumped out to the 2-0 lead in the second game of the day, with a two-run homer in the bottom of the second inning. UMPI answered back in the top of the third, putting up five runs off three hits. Sophomore outfielder Lainey Herring (Houlton, ME)reached on an error, and then senior captain Brittany Humphrey (New Gloucester, ME)ripped a huge RBI double, plating Herring. Higgins and senior Megan Korhonen (Littleton, ME) both reached on errors and each plated a run. Moore singled and Tuck drove in a run to help give the Owls the 5-2 lead.
The Roos re-grouped with a five-run bottom half of the inning to regain the lead at 7-5 off two hits and two Owl fielding errors.
The lead swung back to the favor of the visitors when they scored three runs in the top of the fourth inning thanks to a solo home run by Brittany Humphrey and a two-run double from Emily Moore. Senior captain Danielle Humphrey (New Gloucester, ME)had earned a single, followed by Higgins who drew a walk to place runners at first and third when Moore drove both teammates home to give the Owls a 8-7 lead.
But once again the Roos had an answer in the bottom of the same inning with a solo shot to deadlock the score at 8-8. In the fifth, junior third baseman Desire Smith (Thomaston, ME) doubled to kick off the inning, and was driven home by B. Humphrey's RBI double to once again give UMPI the 9-8 lead.
Canton came up big again in the bottom of the fifth, as they drove home three runs to gain the 11-9 advantage. The Owls rallied in the top of the sixth, as Higgins singled to open the inning, and was driven in by a RBI sacrifice fly ball to left field by Smith to bring the score to 11-10. Finally, in the bottom of the seventh, D. Humphrey singled but was left on base as the Owls were forced out of the inning, coming up short in the 11-10 loss.
Emily Moore took the loss from the mound as she gave up eight earned runs, while striking out one and walking two.
B. Humphrey led her team in a 3-for-5 effort, including three RBIs and two plated runs. Kathleen Higgins singled twice and plated three runs, while Kellie Peers (Caswell, ME) and Danielle Humphrey earned two hits to help their team. Desiree Smith doubled, earned an RBI and plated a run. Moore went 2-for-4 with three RBI's and a scored run.
The Owls return to action this upcoming weekend as they travel to the Sunrise Conference Tournament scheduled to take place at Regis College in Weston, Mass.