(PRESQUE ISLE, ME) – On a chilly, yet sunny day in Presque Isle, the University of Maine-Presque Isle softball team suited up for the final time this season to take on a familiar foe in the Roos from SUNY-Canton. In the last two weekends, the teams have faced each other 8 times, with the Owls coming out on top in six. UMPI took two of three on Sunday, winning 8-2 and 8-7, but losing 6-1 to end the day.
The five home games this weekend were the first and last of the season for the Owls as their 2012 campaign came to and end after Sunday's play. Head coach Peter Coffin finished his first year at the helm with a 14-21 record.
Game #1: UMPI 8, Canton 2
After a relatively quiet first couple of innings the Owls broke through in the 3rd. A double-steal by Whitney Donovan (Fr./Ashland, ME) and Jen Ouellette (So./Van Buren, ME) scored Donovan to give UMPI a 1-0 lead. That was followed by a pair of clutch, 2-out, RBI singles by Kellie Peers (Jr./Caswell, ME) and Lainey Herring (Jr./Houlton, ME) to give Presque Isle a 3-0 advantage.
In the 4th, the Owls broke the game open with five more runs. Back-to-back 2 RBI hits by Desiree Smith (Sr./Thomaston, ME) (single) and Herring (double) were the big blows against Roos' starter Heather Lottie.
Despite giving up an unearned run in the top of the 4th, Owls starter Krista Coffin (So./Presque Isle, ME) carried a no-hitter through the first 4.2 innings. Canton 1B Emiley Walters got her team into the hit column with a 2-out line drive double down the left field line. Coffin would strand her there however by striking out RF Jess Rhodes to end the threat.
The Roos scored single runs in three innings but were unable to mount a serious comeback as the Owls closed out an 8-2 win in game one.
Coffin went the distance giving up 3 hits and 1 earned runs in the victory.
At the plate, Peers was 3-4 with two runs scored and 3 RBI for the Owls.
GAME #2: UMPI 8, Canton 7
The Roos' bats came alive early in game two. Canton scratched out 2 runs to start the game and added 4 more in 2nd against UMPI starter Courtney Bishop (Fr./Saco, ME). Emiley Walters, who had 2 of her team's 3 hits in game one, continued her hot hitting early in game two. After singling and scoring in the first, Walters came to the plate in the very next inning and belted a home run into the teeth of a 25 mph wind to straight away center. At the time the solo shot gave the Roos a 5-0 advantage. They would tag on another to lead 6-0 after two were complete.
The Owls cut their deficit in half with three runs in the bottom of the third. Jen Ouellette drew a one-out walk to flip the batting order back to the top. Desiree Smith then got UMPI on the board with a deep double to center field that scored Ouellette. Kellie Peers followed with an RBI ground out to shortstop that brought in Smith.
With two-out and nobody on, the Owls were not done. Herring drove a triple off the wall in left center. On the next pitch, Carolynn Tuck (Sr./Brewer, ME) hit a bouncer through the hole between third and short to score Herring and bring UMPI to within three, 6-3.
Presque Isle missed out on an opportunity to draw even closer in the bottom of the fourth. After Kathleen Higgins (Sr./Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia) led off with a double to left center the next three Owls' batters went down in order.
After Canton plated a run in the top of the 5th on a double play ground out, the top of UMPI's order went back to work. Smith led off by lacing an opposite field triple that rolled to the right field wall. Peers brought in Smith and reached first on a perfectly executed safety squeeze bunt. Three batters later with Peers now on 3rd, Danielle Smith (Fr./Phillips, ME) came through in the clutch, taking the first pitch she saw and driving it right back through the box bringing home Peers and drawing the Owls to within 7-5.
Finally in the bottom of the 6th inning the Owls completed their comeback by scoring three runs, tying the game and taking an 8-7 lead on a pair of RBI groundouts from Peers and Herring.
Bishop settled down after the disastrous first two innings giving up only 1 hit and 1 run after the second to notch the complete game win.
Desiree Smith had three base hits in four plate appearances, scoring twice and driving in two.
Game #3: Canton 6, UMPI 1
The Roos' Heather Lottie came back from a game one loss to shut down the Owls in game three. Lottie pitched a complete game, 5-hitter, and only allowed one UMPI batter to cross the plate.
Owls pitchers could not figure out Emiley Walters through the first two games. Game three starter Whitney Donovan (Fr./Ashland, ME) was no exception. Walters, who came into game three already 4-8 with a booming home run on the day, collected another two hits and RBI against Donovan to help the Roos salvage the last game of the series.
Canton's big inning was the third. The Roos pushed three runs across the plate with the help of RBI doubles from both C Jena Cryderman and RF Jessica Rhodes. The rally pushed the visitors' lead to 4-0.
UMPI's lone run came in the bottom of the sixth when a Higgins ground out back to Lottie was enough to bring Herring home from third.