WATERVILLE, Maine --- The Thomas College softball team closed out its regular season home slate with a North Atlantic Conference doubleheader split against rival University of Maine at Farmington on Wednesday. The Beavers grabbed game one, 9-4, in eight innings, while the Terriers took game two, 4-2.
Game 1: UMaine-Farmington 9, Thomas 4 (8 innings)
After each side stranded a runner in the first inning and were sent down in order in the second and third frames, the offenses began to pick up in the fourth.
Meryl Bond led off the UMF half of the inning by reaching on a fielding error. After back-to-back fielder's choices, Margaret Fogarty singled up the middle to put runners at first and second. Thomas pitcher Sonja Morse (jr., South China, Maine / Cony) got the Terriers out of the jam, though, by striking out Tasha DeRoche for the third out of the inning.
Thomas grabbed the lead in the bottom of half of the inning. Morse opened the frame with a double to left center and moved to third on a passed ball before scoring when Courtney Veilleux (jr., Oakland, Maine / Messalonskee) reached on a bunt single.
UMF loaded the bases with one out in the fifth inning, but Thomas was able to avoid any damage by getting a force out at home and a groundout to third to end the inning.
The Terriers added to its lead with a run in the bottom half of the inning. Madison Bentz (jr., Ottawa, Ill. / Ottawa Township) reached on a two-out triple down the right-field line, then scored when Lexi Colpack (fr., Franklin, N.H. / Franklin) doubled down the left-field line.
The Beavers stranded two more runners in the sixth before striking for three runs in the seventh. Haley Felkel led off the inning with a single up the middle, then beat the throw to second base when Alison Hamilton reached on a fielder's choice. Felkel scored and Hamilton moved to third when Morse overthrew first base on a comebacker off the bat of Bond.
After an Ashley Gleason infield single loaded the bases, Hamilton scored on a sacrifice fly to center by Kylie Cunningham. Bond scored later in the inning to give UMF a 3-2 lead.
Needing to plate at least one run to continue the game, pinch-hitter Sydney LeBourveau (Jericho, Vt. / Mount Mansfield Union) launched a one-out double to right field. She advanced to third on a wild pitch and came around to score on an RBI single by Bentz. With Bentz at first and freshman Katie Taylor (Lebanon, Maine / Noble) representing the winning run at third, the Beavers opted to intentionally walk Colpack to load the bases. The ploy worked as Taylor was forced out at home when Morse reached on a fielder's choice and Veilleux grounded out to first base to end the inning.
The Terriers would regret not capitalizing on their missed opportunity as the Beavers exploded for six runs on five hits and one error in the eighth inning to take a 9-3 lead. Thomas grabbed one run back as junior Korrie Laren (Blackstone, Mass. / Blackstone-Millville) drove in Veilleux with an RBI single to lead off the bottom of the eighth and sophomore Jordanna Agger (South Portland, Maine / Wells) doubled to put runners at second and third with none out the pair were stranded as three straight Terriers were retired to end the game.
Hamilton, Bond and Kiana Thompson all went 3-for-5 with an RBI to lead Farmington, which pounded out 12 hits.
Kailyn Hill struck out 11 while scattering nine hits and a walk in eight innings to get the win.
Bentz and Veilleux each had two hits and an RBI for Thomas.
Morse, Thomas' workhorse in the circle, struck out 13 in 7 2/3 innings but was tagged for nine runs (six earned) on 12 hits and a pair of walks. She threw 137 pitches in the game. Freshman Haley Littlefield (Mount Desert Island, Maine / Mount Desert Island) recorded one out in relief - a strikeout on three pitches to get the Terriers out of the eighth inning.
The teams combined to leave 21 runners on base -- 13 for UMF, eight for Thomas.
Game 2: Thomas 4, UMaine-Farmington 2
The Terriers hit a pair of home runs in game two to help secure the much-needed doubleheader split.
After retiring UMF in order in the first, Lexi Colpack opened the Thomas half of the frame with a leadoff home run to right center.
Morse, who started game two in the circle as well for the Terriers, worked around a leadoff walk in the second and a two-out single in the third without issue. She ran into some difficulty in the fourth, however, as Ashley Gleason and Kylie Cunningham rapped back-to-back singles to right field to open the frame. Both advanced 60 feet on Margaret Fogarty's sacrifice bunt and Gleason scored on Tasha DeRoche's RBI groundout to tie the game.
Thomas regained the lead in the bottom of the fourth as freshman Molly Carroll (Southwest Harbor, Maine / Mount Desert Island) scored on a Katie Taylor RBI groundout after drawing a leadoff walk.
The lead would be short-lived, however, as Meryl Bond tied the game with an RBI double to left center in the fifth that scored Alison Hamilton from second.
The Terriers took the lead for good in their next at-bat when Korrie Laren launched a two-run home run to straightaway center field.
Thomas retired UMF in order in the sixth and allowed just a leadoff single in the seventh before Morse closed out the game with a strikeout.
Morse bounced back to get the win in game two, scattering six hits and a walk while striking out seven in a complete-game effort.
Jordanna Agger had a pair of singles to rank as the only Terrier with multiple hits.
Abby Burdin took the loss for UMF, giving up four runs on eight hits and a pair of walks.
Hamilton had two hits to lead the Beavers offensively.
With the split, Thomas fell into a tie for the league lead with Castleton at 8-2 but locked up a top-three seed in the upcoming North Atlantic Conference Tournament. Saturday's opponent, New England College, sits third at 7-3.
The Terriers and Pilgrims meet at 1 p.m. Saturday in a NAC doubleheader at Henniker, N.H.