The University of Southern Maine softball team has provided opponents with wins all season, and that continued last night as Bowdoin beat the Huskies 7-1 and 5-2 in a doubleheader yesterday. USM is now 2-24.
Tricia Thibodeau '13 led the Polar Bears to victory from the mound in game one. Thibodeau pitched to contact—zero walks and two strikeouts over seven innings—to find success, giving up only one run.
Gen Barlow '13 launched a home run in the contest for the Polar Bears, who found a variety of ways to score on top of the team's seven hits, four walks and three stolen bases. Amy Hackett '12 did not make an out in the matchup, going 2-2 with two runs and an RBI.
Bowdoin's 15th win of the season, in game two, came by the way of early runs and patience at the plate.
The team took a quick 4-0 advantage in the top of the fourth and drew six walks over seven innings.
Toni DaCampo '13 and Hilary Smyth '12 led the offensive effort, combining for three hits, four RBIs and a stolen base.
And the Polar Bear pitching was not too shabby either. First year Melissa DellaTorre struck out 13 on her way to a complete game with only two earned runs. DellaTorre gave up seven hits but walked none in her fourth win of the year, bringing her record back up to .500.
The Polar Bears head into this weekend after beating conference rival Colby three times and taking two wins out of a doubleheader against Thomas College on Sunday.
Last Friday, the team beat Colby at Pickard Field in a commanding 5-1 victory. With senior caption Kara Nilan on the mound, the team's offensive strength overwhelmed the visiting Mules. Led by DaCampo's fifth inning three-run homerun and junior Caroline Dewar's two hits, the Bears smothered the Mules, who answered with just one run in the seventh inning. Nilan allowed five hits, struck out nine and contributed two hits at the plate to take the win.
The Bears swept Colby in Saturday's doubleheader in Waterville, taking the first game 4-1 and the second 9-5. Nilan lead the way pitching in the first game, striking out four and adding two hits for the Bears, while DaCampo, Dewar and first year Hanna Wurgaft all contributed at the plate.
The team carried its offensive heat into the second game of the day, scoring all nine runs in the first four innings.
DaCampo continued to be a threat at the plate, going 3-3 at the plate with two RBIs, while Amy Hackett '12 contributed a homerun and a single, and scored three times. Nilan also scored twice, and had three hits. Melissa DellaTorre '14 was solid on the mound for the Bears, allowing five runs and striking out one in six innings. Thibodeau pitched the final inning for the Bears, striking out one to close out the game.
After finishing a successful weekend, the Bears hosted Thomas College on Tuesday. The home team swept the visiting Terriers 6-2 and 5-3 in the doubleheader and extended their win streak to seven consecutive wins, and improved to a .500 record. Barlow and Dewar came out strong for the team, contributing four hits apiece, including a home run as well as two stolen bases for Barlow.
Kaity Sansone '13 took the win in game one, allowing six hits and striking out three in six innings, while DellaTorre closed out the last inning, striking out one.
The second game appeared to be going in favor of Thomas, who led the Bears 3-1 in the sixth inning, until hits from Barlow, Smyth and Nilan pulled them ahead to a 5-3 victory.
Thibodeau let up five hits and struck out four to get the win, while DellaTorre struck out two in the seventh to earn her first save.
The team's performance has been impressive, coming after a rocky start. Since taking on nationally ranked teams during Spring Break in Florida, the team has come into their own at the plate and many players have stepped up, according to Nilan.
"Everybody is really coming together to hit," Nilan said. "Each day, a new person steps up to get the big hit and that is really good to see every member of the team picking others up."
Head coach Ryan Sullivan echoed the importance of the offense and its role in building team confidence.
"Our numbers have improved as our confidence has improved," Sullivan said. "Hitting is kind of a contagious thing, if you feel good about it, you're able to relax up at the plate."
Sullivan also attributed the success to depth and reliability in the bullpen.
"With any season of length, you're going to have ups and downs along the way, but our pitching has been a strength for us," Sullivan said.
"We are very fortunate that we know that whoever we have starting in any game, we can expect them to give us a chance to win," Sullivan added.
The team will host Tufts today and tomorrow and the University of New England on Wednesday as the approach the final stretch of the season.
-Seth Walder contributed to this report.