Softball Takes Two From Wesleyan
April 2, 2011
In the opening NESCAC West series for both teams, Middlebury swept a double-header at Wesleyan, winning the first game by a 2-1 score before earning a five-inning, 8-0 victory in the nightcap. Middlebury improved to 9-2 on the season with the wins, while Wesleyan fell to 6-11.
Middlebury wasted no time in the first game, jumping out to a 1-0 first-inning lead. Jessa Hoffman was hit by a pitch to start the game and was sacrificed to second. After a fly-out, sophomore Jessica Poracky (ripped a double down the third-base line to drive in Hoffman, improving her team-high RBI total to 13.
The Panthers extended their advantage to 2-0 in the fourth without a hit. Alyson Downing led off with a walk and advanced to second on a groundout. Downing advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on a passed ball.
Wesleyan got its lone run in the fifth. Amy Lindland led off with a bunt single, stole second, and advanced to third on a groundout. Lindland scored on a single by Chrissy Bello, which gave Bello her team-leading 23rd RBI.
Ali McAnaney (2-1) went the first four innings for Middlebury before giving way to Morris, who handled the final three frames for her second save. The run allowed by Morris in the fifth is the only earned run she has allowed this season in 18 innings of work. Dana Levy (2-5) went the distance in the circle for Wesleyan.
In the nightcap, Middlebury scored four times in the first and never looked back. Hoffman was again hit by a pitch to open the game and was sacrificed to second. Megan Margel drove in Hoffman with a single up the middle. Back-to-back singles by Poracky and Geena Constantin loaded the bases before Emily Burbridge roped a two-run single through the right side. Middlebury made it 4-0 when a throwing error by Wesleyan allowed Constantin to score from second.
The visitors made it 7-0 in the third. Downing was hit by a pitch to open the inning, and Sarah Boylan followed with a two-run home run to left-center. Middlebury followed with four consecutive singles for its seventh run. The Panthers made it 8-0 in the fifth as Poracky led off with a double to left, advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on a single by Downing.
Constantin (3-1) threw all five innings for Middlebury, scattering four hits. Caitlyn Grudzinski (4-4) took the loss for Wesleyan, allowing seven runs (six earned) in 2.1 innings of work before giving way to Jess Shevins.
This was the 12th double-header played between the teams, including a triple-header at Middlebury in 2008, and all have ended in sweeps. Wesleyan had swept the last four twin-bills, including the 2008 triple-header, but Middlebury had swept the previous five before that. With the sweep, Middlebury assured itself of its first season series victory over Wesleyan since 2006. The Panthers will go for their first-ever three-game sweep of Wesleyan on Sunday, as the teams return to the field at 11 a.m.