Panther softball ends spring trip with 5-3 mark

CLERMONT, Fla. — The Middlebury softball team ended its eight-game spring break trip to Clermont, Fla., with a 5-3 record after playing games on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Next up for the Panthers is a three-game set on Friday and Saturday at NESCAC West rival Amherst.
Middlebury concluded its trip by winning two of the three contests on Sunday. The Panthers opened with a win over Buffalo State (8-8) before defeating Thomas (4-9). The day ended with a loss to Luther, at 19-1 the No. 7 team in NCAA Division III.
Against Buffalo, the Panthers rallied from a 5-0 deficit to win, 6-5. Middlebury plated four runs in the fifth to make it a one-run game. Siobhan O’Sullivan led off the inning with a double and scored on an Erin Giles single. Hye-Jin Kim reached on an error, allowing O’Sullivan to score. Taylor Gardner drove in Giles with a ground out, and Ande Troutman double to left center to score Kim. Jackie Stern singled to drive in Troutman and cap the rally.
Middlebury tied the game in the sixth when a Stern grounder plated Troutman, who led off with a single.
The Panthers won the game in the bottom of the seventh. Carlyn Vachow singled to start the inning and moved to second on an O’Sullivan single. Giles advanced the runners with a bunt, and Kim singled the winning run home.
Allison Quigley started before giving way to Irene Margiotta, who picked up the win with 2.2 innings of one-hit relief.
Thomas took a 1-0 lead in the day’s second game before Middlebury scored four runs in the fourth inning on the way to a 5-2 victory. Sarah Freyre homered to lead off the inning. The rest of the runs scored on a Kim walk, singles by Emma Hamilton, Stern, and O’ Sullivan, and two fielder’s choices, one of them a Kat Maehr RBI groundout. 
Both teams scored in the sixth. In the bottom of the inning, O’Sullivan’s single plated an unearned run. 
Margiotta (2-1) went four innings to earn the win, allowing one run and two hits with three strikeouts. Lane Dikeman allowed a run in 1.2 innings, while Neve Stearns tossed 1.1 hitless innings to earn the second save.
In the final game of the trip, Luther led 1-0 in the fourth before opening up the game with a four-run sixth inning in its 5-0 victory. Two Luther pitchers held the Panthers to three hits. Stearns (1-2) went the distance for the Panthers, allowing five runs, four earned, and 11 hits over six innings.
On Saturday the Panthers also won two out of three games, opening with a tight loss to the University of Chicago (7-1) before picking up shutout wins over Oberlin (1-16) and Thomas (4-6) in a pair of five-inning games. 
Chicago scored once in the sixth and once in the seventh to pick up a 2-1 victory. Margiotta was the tough-luck loser, allowing two unearned runs and three hits over 6.1 innings.
Middlebury scored its run in the third. Ali Della Volpe singled and eventually scored on a Gardner single. The Panthers were held to four hits, including a Maehr double.
In an 11-0 win over Oberlin, Middlebury took a 7-0 first-inning lead keyed by O’Sullivan’s two-run single and Maehr’s two-run double. Giles and Freyre added RBI doubles in the inning.
After RBI groundouts by Maehr and Giles in the second, Ally Doll added an RBI double in the third to make it 10-0. Middlebury added an unearned run in the fourth. Stearns threw a scoreless first, while Dikeman earned the win with four innings of three-hit relief.
In an 8-0 victory vs. Thomas, the Panthers scored twice in the first, keyed by Vachow’s RBI double. Middlebury scored four times in the third, highlighted by Freyre’s two-run single. O’Sullivan and Maehr added RBI singles on the way to the 8-0 final. Stern finished with three hits and three runs scored.
Quigley picked up the win, tossing a two-hit shutout over five innings with seven strikeouts. 
On Friday, the Panthers opened by splitting a pair of games, earning a 3-2 win over Southern Maine (8-3) in the opener, but losing to West Virginia University Institute of Technology (10-15) by 11-5 in the second game.
Southern Maine took the lead with an unearned run in the second inning. Middlebury scored in the third, when Kim singled, moved up on a passed ball and wild pitch, and scored on a Stern hit.
Southern Maine regained the lead on a pair of hits off Quigley in the bottom of the fourth, but the Panthers answered with the tying and winning runs in the bottom of the inning. O’Sullivan singled and eventually scored on a wild pitch, and Kati Daczkowski singled to plate Vachow, who walked.
Quigley tossed a complete game, allowing two runs, one earned, on five hits with six strikeouts and three walks. 
West Virginia Institute of Technology outslugged the Panthers in the nightcap. Gardner, O’Sullivan and Kim, who homered, each drilled two hits for Middlebury, but Genna Trippett pounded three homers for the Golden Bears to lead their 11-run assault.
Margiotta tossed four innings and gave up three runs, two earned, on three hits. Stearns took the loss, giving up four runs on eight hits in two innings. Dikeman tossed an inning, allowing four runs, three earned, on two hits. 

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