April 13, 2009

The Middlebury College softball team picked up three NESCAC wins over the weekend, taking all three games played at Hamilton. Middlebury's top four hitters collected 17 hits as the visiting Panthers took two from the Continentals on Saturday.

Sophomore Ali McAnaney (Northbrook, Ill.) pitched a complete-game shutout as Middlebury (12-9 overall, 4-5 NESCAC West) won the opener 6-0. McAnaney allowed just three hits, walked one and struck out six as her record improved to 6-4. The Panthers grabbed a 4-0 lead in game two with a four-run fourth inning and went on to win the nightcap, 7-2.

Sophomore Emily Burbridge (E. Greenwich, R.I.) led the Middlebury offense as she went 5-for-8 with two doubles and five RBI in the two games. Burbridge leads the team with six doubles. Sophomore Leslie Crawford (Mount Vernon, Wash.) also went 5-for-8 and scored five runs out of the second spot in the lineup. No. 3 hitter, sophomore Megan Margel (Ridgewood, N.J.), added four hits and leadoff batter senior Amelia Magistrali (Torrington, Conn.) chipped in three.

In Game 1, the Panthers scored one run in the fourth inning, three in the fifth and two in the sixth. Burbridge and McAnaney smacked RBI doubles in the fifth. Middlebury finished the game with 14 hits.

McAnaney extended her shutout streak to 10 innings in the second game. She started and pitched three innings, allowed two hits and walked two. First-year pitcher Ashley Higgins (Ridgefield, Conn.) recorded her second win with an effective four innings of relief. Higgins allowed two runs, none earned, on four hits, walked one and fanned two.

The Panthers seized control of game two with the four-run fourth inning. A two-run single by junior Sophie Dorot (Potomac, Md.) with two outs was the big hit in the inning. Middlebury pushed its advantage to 6-0 with two runs in the fifth and was never threatened. Higgins earned the win after McAnaney threw the first three innings.

Mandy Hyne started the first game in the circle for Hamilton. Hyne pitched five innings, allowed three earned runs on nine hits, walked one and struck out one. Megan Coughlin took the loss in game two. Coughlin allowed four runs and six hits in four innings, and struck out three.

Middlebury broke open a close game with four runs in the fifth inning and the visiting Panthers went on to post a 6-3 win against Hamilton the first game of the series.

Magistrali led the Middlebury offense with three hits and one RBI. Sophomore Kelsey Chisholm (Lynnfield, Mass.) added two hits, including a two-run double in the fifth, and finished with three RBI. Burbridge also cracked a two-run double in the fifth inning and ended up with two hits. Margel chipped in two hits and sophomore Geena Constantin (Pelham, N.H.) scored two runs.

Constantin also excelled in the circle, where she pitched the first five innings and the seventh. She allowed just one run on three hits, walked two and struck out six. She improved her record to 4-3 this year.

Middlebury (10-9 overall, 2-5 NESCAC West) scored one run in the top of the second inning and led 5-0 after the four-run outburst in the fifth. The Continentals (4-13, 1-2) rallied with one run in the bottom of the fifth and two more in the sixth. The Panthers added an insurance run in the seventh with three straight singles after Coughlin retired the first two batters she faced.
. Softball record: 12-9
. Up next: 4/15 @ Union (2), 4/17 vs. Amherst - 5:00, 4/18 vs. Amherst (2) - 12:00