Middlebury College softball claims series

MIDDLETOWN, Conn. — The Middlebury College women’s softball team took two out of three games from host Wesleyan this past weekend to keep tenuous postseason hopes alive. The Panthers’ scheduled home doubleheader vs. Plattsburgh on Tuesday was moved to Wednesday, after the deadline for this newspaper.
The Panthers are 17-9-1 and 4-5 in NESCAC West. To qualify for the NESCAC postseason, they would have to earn one of the NESCAC West top two seeds. That means sweeping three games from visiting Williams, which is 7-1 in league play, and then hoping Wesleyan (10-18, 1-7 NESCAC West) upsets the Ephs in a makeup game early next week.
On this past Sunday, Wesleyan edged Middlebury, 5-4, in extra innings in the opener of a doubleheader, but the Panthers won the nightcap, 5-1.
Wesleyan took a 1-0 lead in the first of the opener on an RBI double by Reilly Wieners. Two run-scoring hits off Panther starter Irene Margiotta in the third made it 3-0.
Middlebury tied the game in the top of the fifth. Marybeth Stone doubled one run home, and Taylor Gardner hit a two-run single. In the top of the eighth, Siobhan O’Sullivan belted a solo homer to give the Panthers the lead, but the Cardinals answered with a Hayley Lipson RBI hit in the bottom of the inning, and in the ninth Julie McDonald’s two-out single off losing pitcher Allison Quigley plated the winning run.
Quigley (8-6) pitched the final 3.2 innings for the loss, and struck out two batters to make her the fifth pitcher in program history to record 200 career strikeouts at 201.
McDonald (6-9) earned the win for Cardinals, allowing only one run in five innings of relief.
Middlebury got the early jump on Wesleyan in the second game, scoring twice in the top of the first. O’Sullivan doubled in Sarah Freyre, and Gardner doubled home O’Sullivan.
The Panthers added three runs in the second. Freyre poked a two-run double, and scored on an O’Sullivan hit.
Margiotta (7-3) pitched a complete game to earn the win for Middlebury, giving up the one run on three hits.
On Saturday, the Panthers cruised, 7-1, as Quigley tossed a complete-game eight-hitter, allowing one unearned run in the first.
Middlebury took a 1-0 lead in first when Olivia Bravo tripled scored on a Melanie Mandell single.
Hye-Jin Kim delivered a two-run single in the fourth to make it 3-1, and Quigley and Freyre doubled in the sixth to make it 4-1. The Panthers added three unearned runs in that frame to make it final, with O’Sullivan picking up an RBI on a groundout.

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