Panther softball wins two out of five
AMHERST — Host Amherst swept three games from the Middlebury College softball team this past Saturday and Sunday, but the Panthers bounced back by sweeping Castleton on Tuesday in their first home action of the season.
The Panthers are 9-7 and 0-3 in NESCAC after the losses to Amherst, then ranked No. 17 in NCAA Division III, which improved to 16-2 and 5-0 in NESCAC play. Middlebury will host league foe Hamilton this weekend in a three-game series, Friday at 4 p.m. and then a Saturday doubleheader set for noon.
On this past Sunday, Amherst swept a doubleheader, 3-0 and 7-2. Amherst hurler Gina Pagan tossed a four-hitter, striking out 11, while Emily Morris took the loss, allowing three runs, all in the fifth, on six hits in six innings. Liza Tarr led the Panthers with two hits.
In the nightcap, Middlebury loaded the bases in the first inning but failed to score, and Amherst scored once in the first and three times in the second.
The Panthers answered in the top of the third when Tarr singled home Olivia Bravo and Emily Moore, who reached on an error. But Amherst added two more runs in the third and added its final run in the fifth.
Lorena Ukanwa (10-0) picked up the win, allowing two unearned runs and six hits in six innings with 13 strikeouts. Morris took the loss, giving up five earned runs and eight hits over three innings. Irene Margiotta tossed three innings of one-run relief.
On Saturday, Amherst scored five runs on five hits off losing pitcher Allison Quigley in the first inning in a 9-4 victory. Quigley (3-1) allowed 12 hits and eight earned runs over six innings.
Middlebury got back into the game in the fourth on a two-run homer by Kaylee Gumm, driving in Kati Daczkowski. Allison Quigley, who also singled, added a two-run homer in the fifth to make it 5-4.
The Mammoths then scored three runs in the fifth on four hits, and added a pad run in the sixth. Ukanwa picked up the win.
On Tuesday, the Panthers defeated Castleton in a doubleheader, 10-2 in five innings and 8-1, facing two former Addison County standout pitchers in the process. Middlebury roughed up former Eagle hurler and Spartan freshman Rachael McCormick in the opener, starting with a five-run first keyed by a Gumm three-run double and Mandell’s two-run homer.
In the Panthers’ four-run fourth Bravo and Daczkowski poked RBI singles and Moore doubled in a run. Moore’s RBI single ended the game in the fifth on the eight-run mercy rule.
Morris picked up the win. Daczkowski finished with three hits and two RBIs, Bravo had two hits and two runs, and Moore had two hits and two RBIs.
Castleton took the lead in the game two when Calli Van Gorden doubled to drive in former Middlebury Union hockey player Timi Carone, who had doubled.
Middlebury answered in the bottom of the inning with four runs on four hits off losing pitcher Loretta Blakeney, including doubles by Daczkowski and Moore and singles by Mandell and Quigley.
Moore drilled a three-run homer in the second, and in the fifth Gardner singled and Bravo doubled her home. That run came off former Vergennes hurler Taylor Paquette, the only one she allowed in four innings. McCormick also tossed a scoreless relief inning. Quigley got the win, allowing five hits over seven innings with eight strikeouts.
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