Softball Splits With Rensselaer
April 6, 2011
Middlebury rallied in the night-cap 3-2 in eight innings topping visiting Rensselaer (RPI), who took a 5-4 win in the opener, for a split of the twin-bill on Wednesday. While it was the home-opener for the Panthers (10-4), it was the first true road test for the Engineers (11-5) who played a pair of home games and a dozen neutral site contests before the match-up.
In game one, RPI broke open a scoreless game in the top of the third, plating three runs. A one-out RBI single by Gillian McCarthy scored Alysa Rochminski from third. Later, with two outs and runners on second and third, Sara Heller popped a shot sky-high to shallow left center that was misplayed by Middlebury, scoring the other two runs.
The Panthers had runners in scoring position in four of the first five innings, without scoring. In the bottom of the sixth, the Panthers got on the board when pinch runner Alex Scibetta scored from third on a wild pitch, cutting the deficit to 3-1. RPI earned some breathing room in the top of the seventh with an RBI double by McCarthy. McCarthy would later score from third on a SAC fly by Dani Grage, building a 5-1 lead.
Middlebury battled back in the final frame, building a two-out bases-loaded scenario for Emily Burbridge, who knocked in a run on a fielding error. Emma Katz followed with a single up the middle, plating two runners, cutting the lead to 5-4. The Panthers could not get the tying run across as the game ended on an infield ground out.
Jen Shields paced RPI with a 3/3 day at the plate, scoring two runs, while McCarthy was 2/4 with a double and two RBI. Katz led the Panthers with a 3/4 outing and two RBI.
Felicia Bua (3-3) got the nod, pitching four clean innings, while Charlene Osmanski tossed the final three frames, allowing four runs, one earned. Alexa Lesenskyj (2-2) went five innings for Middlebury, allowing three runs, one earned, as Elizabeth Morris capped the game with two innings of relief work, giving up two earned runs.
In game two, it took extra innings to decide the outcome. A one-all game after seven traditional innings forced a tie-breaker situation. With Sam Paulding placed on second to start the eighth inning, RPI’s Tori Hunt took a one-out pitch to centerfield for a single. A strong throw home by Panther Nellie Wood got Paulding in a rundown, eventually getting Paulding out 8-2-5-3, but Hunt worked her way to third during the play. Hunt would score when McCarthy reached on a fielding error for a 2-1 lead.
Again the Panthers fought back in the last half, this time capping the comeback with the winning run. With Wood placed on second to start the frame, starting RPI ace Jen Bach quickly loaded the bases. Megan Margel followed with a single to second, scoring Wood for a 2-2 game. Jessica Poracky followed with the game-winner pushing a fly ball to center, plating Jessa Hoffman from third for the 3-2 win.
Leslie Crawford went 2/4 for Middlebury, while Hoffman chipped in with a double and one RBI. Margel, Poracky and Emily Kraytenberg each chipped in with RBIs. Geena Constantin got the start, pitching 4.0 innings, allowing one earned, was relieved by Ali McAnaney (3-1) who was credited with the win, tossing the final four innings, allowing one unearned run.
Bach, besides going the distance in the circle for RPI, went 2/4 from the plate including a double. Bach pitched seven innings, is tagged with only her second loss on the year (6-2) as she allowed three runs, one earned, over 7.1 innings of work.