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Clutch pitching paces Bulls past Maine

USF 1, UM 0
USF 1, UM 0 F/9

There were a couple of old-fashioned pitching duels at the USF Softball Complex on Tuesday.

The USF softball team (12-8) won both games against Maine (0-2) — by a score of 1-0 — with outstanding play by its pitching staff.

In the first game, Bulls sophomore pitcher Danielle Urbanik (4-3) and Maine’s Sarah Bennis (0-1) set the tone for the night, shutting down each other’s batters for seven innings and three innings, respectively.

In the bottom of the third, USF managed to get on the board with a line-drive double from junior Christie Chapman that scored Alycia LePage. Urbanik allowed only two hits and no runs for her second complete-game shutout of the season.

“She (Urbanik) didn’t have her best stuff tonight,” coach Ken Eriksen said. “But she battled and we played pretty decent defense behind her.”

The Bulls took the second game of the doubleheader in nine innings.

Once again, both USF and Maine had excellent pitching performances.

This time on the mound it was Bulls freshman Bree Spence facing off against Maine’s Jenna Merchant. Spence (5-3) pitched all nine innings in the game, giving up six hits while striking out four.

“I thought Bree did excellent,” Eriksen said. “She finally got inside (on batters), and she got them out in some crucial situations.”

In the bottom of the ninth, USF’s Tiffany Stewart hit a hard ground ball toward Black Bears’ third baseman Lauren Dulkis. Dulkis’ throw to first sailed over first baseman Kristie Hawkins’ head, allowing Stewart to advance to second. The next batter, LePage, hit a double to right field that brought home Stewart and gave the Bulls the two-game sweep.