Middlebury softball sweeps league twinbill

MADISON, Conn. — The Middlebury College softball team opened NESCAC West play on Sunday by sweeping a doubleheader from host Wesleyan, 4-3 and 6-1, in games played at Hand High School in Madison, Conn.
Saturday’s game between the two teams was postponed and will be made up at a later date. The Panthers improved to 9-3 overall with the two league wins, while Wesleyan dropped to 6-8, 0-2 in NESCAC West.
Middlebury was hoping to return to action on Wednesday at Castleton State in games scheduled after the deadline for this edition of the Independent. The Panthers are also optimistically scheduled to host a three-game NESCAC West set vs. Williams on this Friday and Saturday.
In Sunday’s opener, Middlebury trailed for five innings after the Cardinals manufactured a run in the first with a leadoff walk, a sacrifice bunt, a passed ball and a wild pitch. Wesleyan pitcher Su Pardo kept the Panthers off the board until doubles in the sixth by Kat Maehr and Kelsey Martel tied the count at 1-1.
Middlebury grabbed a 4-1 lead in the top of the seventh, using three hits and a wild pitch to score three runs. The big blow in the inning was Carlyn Vachow’s two-out, two-run triple. 
Wesleyan got a pair back in the seventh and left the tying run at second base. Reliever Neve Stearns got the final two outs, including inducing a groundout for the final out. Allison Quigley started and earned the win, hurling 6.1 innings, allowing seven hits and one earned run with six strikeouts.
Jackie Stern led the attack with three hits, while Siobhan O’Sullivan and Maehr chipped in two hits apiece.
In the nightcap, the Cardinals again made a 1-0 first-inning lead stand up into the latter stages of the game. The run came off Stearns, who started the contest, via a single, a double and a sacrifice fly.
In the fifth Middlebury took the lead with four runs on four hits and an error. The tying run scored on a Taylor Gardner sacrifice fly. Hye-Jin Kim then singled home the next two runs and scored on the play on an outfield error.  
The Panthers added two more in the sixth as Quigley, the winner in relief after entering the game to pitch in the third inning, helped her own cause by drilling an RBI triple and scoring on a groundout. Quigley, a freshman, tossed five shutout innings, allowing five hits with four strikeouts to improve to 6-1.
Kim, Vachow, and Martel each poked a pair of hits to lead the Panther offense in the second game.

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