April 18, 2011

Four Middlebury pitchers combined to pitch a pair of shutouts and the Panther offense pounded out 29 hits to sweep Castleton State College 7-0 and 6-0 in non-conference softball action Wednesday afternoon.

            In the opener, senior Ali McAnaney (Northbrook, Ill.) pitched four shutout innings yielding two hits and two walks, while striking out one to improve to 5-1 on the season. First-year pitcher Alexa Lesenskyj (Robbinsville, N.J.) pitched the final three innings, allowing just one hit and one walk with one strikeout to earn her first collegiate save. Everyone in the Panther lineup collected at least one hit, led by sophomore Jessa Hoffman (Golden, Colo.) and senior Leslie Crawford (Mount Vernon, Wash.), who each collected three. Senior Emily Burbridge (E. Greenwich, R.I.) went 2-4 with a home run, and two runs scored and sophomore Sarah Boylan (Danvers, Mass.) had two hits and two RBI.

            Middlebury struck for three runs in the second inning as Burbidge connected for a solo home run to right field with one out. Boylan followed with a laser midway up the right-centerfield fence that went for a single, and senior Kelsey Chisholm (Lynnfield, Mass.) then ripped a line drive back through the box to put runs on first and second. After a pop-out, Hoffman delivered Boylan on a single just inside the third base bag, and Chisholm came around to make it 3-0 on a Spartan fielding error. The Panthers tacked on two more in the third inning on a two-run double from Boylan that plated senior Geena Constantin (Pelham, N.H.), who doubled to lead off the inning and Burbridge who slapped a one-out single to left.

In the nightcap, Constantin started and went three innings, allowing one hit and two walks while striking out five before being lifted in favor of rookie Elizabeth Morris (Kenilworth, Ill.). Morris (4-0) earned the win, pitching four hitless innings, allowing just a walk to go along with four strikeouts.

Sophomore Emma Katz (Northridge, Calif.) went 3-4 with three RBI and Burbridge collected another three hits to lead the Panther offense.

Katz provided an RBI-single in the first, an RBI-double in the third and an RBI-single in the fourth to provide plenty of offense for the Panther pitching. Boylan added another RBI-single in the third, scoring Burbridge who had singled earlier in the frame.

Castleton’s lone hit came from Megan Blongy a slap-single in the hole between third and short, that Boylan fielded cleanly and fired across the diamond, but Blongy just barely beat the throw.

Middlebury scored 30 runs on 27 hits as the Panthers swept a NESCAC West Division softball doubleheader from Hamilton College at Hamilton's Ferguson Fields on April 16. Middlebury (17-4 overall, 8-1 NESCAC West) won the first game 14-2, and shutout the Continentals 16-0 in the second game. Both contests were stopped after five innings due to the eight-run mercy rule. The Panthers extended their win streak to nine games.

Constantin led the Middlebury offense in game one with two doubles, a single and six runs batted in. Senior Megan Margel (Ridgewood, N.J.) and Burbridge were both 3-3 with three RBI. Margel doubled and Burbridge clubbed her third home run this year. Crawford singled and scored three runs, first-year player Emily Kraytenberg (Londonderry, N.H.) doubled and Boylan drew three walks.

McAnaney improved to 6-1 as she allowed two runs on eight hits and a walk in five innings. McAnaney struck out three. She entered the game with a 1.56 ERA.

The Panthers led 5-1 after four innings, but plated nine more in the fifth on six hits and two errors by the Continentals. Hamilton got one run back in the bottom of the frame, but it wasn't enough to extend the game another inning.

In Game 2, Middlebury scored four runs in the first and seven in the second, and cruised the rest of the way. Morris allowed four hits and two walks and fanned nine in five shutout innings. Morris improved her record to 5-0.

Hoffman doubled twice and hit her first home run. Hoffman finished with two RBI and four runs scored. Sophomore Jessica Poracky (Ramsey, N.J.) singled, doubled and drove in two runs. Chisholm had two hits, including her first double, and drove in a run. Margel went 2-2 with three runs scored and an RBI. Constantin doubled and drove in three runs, Kraytenberg drove in two runs with a single and senior Nellie Wood (Hampden, Maine) tripled.

In game one on Friday, Constantin  drove in four runs and pitched four no-hit innings to lead Middlebury to a 6-0 win against Hamilton.

Constantin blasted a three-run homer in the first inning, and drove in Middlebury's fourth run with a double in the third. The Panthers added two runs in the sixth inning. Constantin started in the circle and improved her record to 4-1 this year. She walked three and struck out four in four innings.

For the Panthers, no player besides Constantin had more than one hit. Hoffman doubled, scored two runs and had an RBI. Kraytenberg hit a pinch-hit double in the top of the seventh, and Downing doubled and scored a run. Crawford singled and drove in a run. Lesenskyj completed the shutout and picked up her second save. Lesenskyj allowed two hits and fanned seven in three innings of relief.
• Softball team record: 17-4
• Up next: 4/19 vs. Lyndon (2) – 3:30, 4/20 @ Union (2), 4/22 vs. Amherst – 5:00, 4/23 vs. Amherst (2) – 12:00