By: Nick Blaszczak, Student Journalist
The Husson Eagles (12-23) wrapped up the regular season with an 8-2 victory over the Bates Bobcats (5-29) in nonconference action on Wednesday evening at O’Keefe Field. Husson shortstop Lyndsay Merrill rounded out her senior campaign by batting a perfect 4-for-4 on the day with three runs.
After retiring the side in order, the Eagles struck first in the bottom half of the opening frame off a trio of hits. Merrill got the ball rolling for Husson with a lead-off single to left field. Allison Hill followed up with an infield hit to the shortstop. Sami Cyr advanced the runners to second and third with a groundout to first.
With one out and runners in scoring position, Casey Lopes entered the batter’s box looking to cash in. The 5-foot-8 junior made the most of the opportunity by plating Merrill with a base knock to right field to give the Eagles a 1-0 lead. After coughing up a run, Bobcats’ starting pitcher Kylie Martin settled down and got out of the jam.
In the top of the second, Bates knotted the game at one apiece by capitalizing on a Husson miscue. Madison Fox led off with a shot to left field that was misplayed by Hill. The fielding error put Hill on second base for Tori Fitzgerald. The sophomore laid down a sacrifice bunt to push Fox over to third.
Paige Ahlholm laced a one out hit up the middle to even the game, 1-1. Husson starter Alannah Healy shook of the unearned run by recording back-to-back outs to end the inning. The Eagles would earn back the run and add one in the bottom half of the frame.
Kristen Chipman made her way to first with a lead-off walk. A fielder’s choice would advance Chipman to second and a pop out to the shortstop brought Merrill back to the dish with two away. The captain showed her leadership by drilling an RBI double to left field making it a 2-1 ballgame.
Hill continued the hit parade with a double of her own to put the Eagles up by two. Cyr grounded out to the shortstop to end the inning but the damage had been done. Hill’s RBI double served as the game-winner; Healy utilized the two-run cushion by shutting down the Bobcats’ offense.
Healy earned her 10th win of the season after pitching a complete game that included one earned run off of five hits while striking out a handful of batters. Bates put the only blemish on Healy’s day with a pair of hits in the fifth inning. Ahlholm, who drove in the first run, scored the second run for the Bobcats and finished the day 2-for-3 at the plate.
Martin received her 16th loss of the season after being banged up for eight runs (seven earned) on 11 hits in five innings of work.
Bates will look to turn things around on Friday as the Bobcats play host to Colby College on Friday afternoon. First pitch is set for 4:00 p.m.
After completing all of their games, Husson sits in anticipation of their playoff seeding. The Eagles have guaranteed themselves a spot in the conference tournament. Now, it’s just a matter of time to see who their first round opponent will be.