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Thursday, June 1, 2023

Ballenger and Goodman Toss Complete Games as Hawks Split with Hampton

Mistakes Hamper Eastern Shore in Game Two

PRINCESS ANNE, Maryland — The University of Maryland Eastern Shore softball team grabbed their ninth win of the season on Wednesday (March 30) as they defeated the Hampton University Pirates 6-5 in game one of the two teams’ doubleheader. The Pirates won game two 5-1.

Photo credit to Joey Gardner

“We always want to take two. However, we will take the split against a great Hampton team,” head coach Karla Powell said. “They have some big wins this season, which continues to show the ladies that we are growing each day. Today gave us a great toon up for South Carolina State this weekend.”

Sophomore Ameenah Ballenger got her third win of the season in game one. She walked just one batter and allowed just one earned run.

In-game one, the Hawks scored two runs in the first inning. Sophomore Tatum Kresley and junior Tyanna Roberts began the frame with back-to-back singles. Sophomore Julia Garcia came up after them and doubled through the left side to bring Kresley and Roberts in to score.

Photo credit to Joey Gardner

The Shore got the next two runs in the third inning. Garcia began the bottom of the third with a solo homer to center field. Sophomore Kelsie Ekstrom was hit by a pitch on the next at-bat to get on base. Eastern Shore would have groundouts from the next two batters to advance Ekstrom to third base.

Freshman McKenzie Abiley would then single to bring Ekstrom across home plate. Following the run by Ekstrom, the Hawks led 4-0 as the game headed into the fourth inning.

Hampton cut the lead in half in the top of the fourth by scoring two runs. The bottom of the inning saw the home team get those runs back. Kresley reached on an error and stole second base to get into scoring position.

Garcia then drew a walk and junior Saje Kurpiela came in to pinch run for her. Ekstrom was then hit with a pitch for the second straight inning to load the bases. Freshman Rebecca Miller was up next and reached on a fielder’s choice as the Pirates tried to stop Kresley’s run, but an error allowed her to score and made the score 5-2.

Following the mistake by HU, sophomore Ryan Merriwether singled to center field to bring Kurpiela in to score. Eastern Shore was up 6-2 after four innings and the score would stay at that spot until the top of the seventh.

Photo credit to Joey Gardner

The Pirates got single and triple to start the frame to get their first run. They then drew a walk to get runners on the corners and stole a base forcing an error by the Hawks and scoring again to make the score 6-4.

The final run for Hampton would come off a fielder’s choice to get within one run. Ballenger would then close the door by forcing two straight groundouts to end the game.

Garcia was 2-3 with a home run, three RBI, one walk, and a run scored. Kresley and Roberts each had two hits apiece as well in game one.

HU got two runs in the first inning of game two to take an early lead. The Pirates led 2-0 until the bottom of the third inning.

Sophomore Ah-Nayia Oglesby began the third inning with an infield single for the Hawks. She stole second base to get into scoring position and a groundout by Kresley would advance her to third base.

Roberts was up next and reached on an error by Hampton. Garcia then hit an RBI groundout to second base to bring Oglesby in to score. The score stood at 2-1 at that point.

The top of the fourth inning was eventful for both teams. The frame featured a rundown, two errors by Eastern Shore, and three runs by the visitors. Hampton led 5-1 at that point and neither team would score again in the game.

Photo credit to Joey Gardner

Graduate student Nasya Goodman threw a complete game for the team in a loss. She struck out six batters, allowed just one walk, and had zero earned runs. Six different Hawks got a hit in the game to account for the team’s six hits.

Maryland Eastern Shore will now travel to South Carolina State for a weekend series (April 2-3).

For more information on Eastern Shore Athletics visit http://www.easternshorehawks.com/

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