April 12, 2010

The Panther softball team completed a three-game NESCAC West sweep over Hamilton with 6-0 and 7-0 victories on Saturday. The Panthers outscored the Continentals 21-0 in the series, improving to 14-6, 5-1 in NESCAC play. Hamilton falls to 2-14, with an 0-6 mark in NESCAC contests.

            Junior Geena Constantin (Pelham, N.H.) was the story in game one for the Panthers, tossing a perfect game. The junior righty faced just 21 batters, striking out four, while retiring 13 via groundouts. She also helped out her own cause with a 2-4 day at the plate, driving in a pair of runs.

            Middlebury struck for a pair in the first on three hits with two outs. Junior Emily Burbridge (E. Greenwich, R.I.) plated Constantine and junior Megan Margel (Ridgewood, N.J.) with a double to right to make it a 2-0 game. First-year player Emma Katz (Northridge, Calif.) doubled in the second and later scored when classmate Jessa Hoffman (Golden, Colo.) doubled down the left field line.

            Middlebury added two more in the fourth when Hoffman doubled again, followed by a bunt single from sophomore Kira Gordon (Scarborough, Maine). Hoffman scored on a ground out by Margel, while Gordon was plated by a Constantin single to center. The Panthers added a run in the sixth on an RBI groundout by Constantin to score Hoffman, who went 3-4 with a pair of double and two runs scored. Margel finished the game 2-4, while Katz went 2-3 with a double.

            The perfect game was intact heading into the seventh, as Burbridge made a nice play in left on Leigh Sherrow, nabbing a line drive. The next batter struck out, but the pitch reached the backstop as sophomore Alyson Downing (Rumney, N.H.) was forced to throw the runner out at first. Constantin fielded a grounder and threw the runner out at first to seal the perfect game.

            Middlebury scored seven runs in the first three innings of game two, earning a 7-0 win. Leading 2-0, Gordon hit an infield single to plate rookie Jessica Poracky (Ramsey, N.J.) who led off the inning with a hit. Margel followed with a blast to left, earning a double as Gordon and Hoffman scored.

            A double to center by Poracky in the third scored Katz, who led the inning off with a walk. Junior Kelsey Chisholm (Lynnfield, Mass.) scored Poracky with an RBI groundout later in the inning to make it a 7-0 game.

            Constantin tossed the first three innings, allowing a pair of hits. Junior Ali McAnaney (Northbrook, Ill.) earned the win with four shutout innings of relief. Margel went 3-4 with a double and two RBI, while Gordon was 2-3 with two runs scored. Poracky finished the game 2-2 with a double and two runs scored.

In game one, Middlebury blanked visiting Hamilton 8-0 in six innings. The heart of the Middlebury order went 8/14 from the plate, scoring seven runs, while knocking in four RBI.

            With a 1-0 lead heading into the bottom of the third inning, Middlebury plated three runs on four hits for a 4-0 advantage. Constantin started the scoring, roping the first of her two stand-up triples on the day to right-center, scoring Margel from second. Burbridge knocked in Constantin with a single up the middle for a 3-0 lead. Downing capped the scoring with a two-out RBI double to the base of the fence in center, scoring Burbridge.

            In the fourth, Middlebury added another run on Constantin's triple that scored Gordon. The Panthers ended the game in the sixth with three more runs during a two-out rally. With runners on second and third, a wild pitch on ball four to Burbridge allowed Gordon to score from third as Constantin advanced to third on the play. With runners on second and third, Poracky ended the game with a double to left field, giving the Panthers an 8-0 win after six innings of play.

            The number two through five hitters for Middlebury, Gordon, Margel, Constantin and Burbridge each collected two hits, including the two triples by Constantin. McAnaney pitched six innings for the Panthers, scattering three singles for the shutout.

• Softball record: 14-6

• Up next: 4/16 @ Williams, 4/17 @ Williams x2