Softball Advances To Title Game

May 8, 2011

The Middlebury College softball team advanced to the championship round of the 2011 NESCAC Championship with a 2-0 victory over the Jumbos of Tufts University on Sunday morning at Spicer Field. The game had started on Saturday afternoon but was suspended due to rain. Middlebury will take on the winner of Tufts-Trinity at 12:30 pm Sunday.

Middlebury began the scoring in the first inning against Jumbo senior starting pitcher Izzie Santone. Senior RF Leslie Crawford reached on a one-out single and then scored all the way from first base on a double from senior 1B Megan Margel. Santone was able to strand Margel at third base when she struck out 3B Emma Katz to end the frame.

Tufts threatened in the home half as junior CF Lizzy Iuppa led off with a bunt single. With one out, junior 1B Lena Cantone singled. The next two batters, first year C Jo Clair and sophomore 2B Emily Beinecke, both flied out to center field to leave the two runners on base.

Santone retired the Panthers in order each of the next two innings, while on the other side, Middlebury starter senior Ali McAnaney gave up a pair of hits but the Jumbos could not take advantage.

The Panthers loaded the bases with one out in the top of the fourth via a single from Margel and some shaky fielding for the Jumbo infield. Santone was able to close the door though by striking out the final batter of the inning.

Play would be suspended after four full innings with Middlebury leading 1-0, and re-started Sunday morning after about a 19-hour delay.

Senior CF Nellie Wood led off for Middlebury to restart the contest and drilled a home run to center field to give the Panthers a 2-0 advantage. They continued to the threaten in the inning, but sophomore Rebecca DiBiase entered the game in relief of Santone to stop any more damage from being done.

Tufts went in order in its half of the fifth and then left a runner on base in the sixth. Middlebury was retired in order in the sixth and also left a runner on in the seventh.

Senior Geena Constantin came in to pitch for the Panthers to start the fifth inning and was able to keep the Jumbos at bay, as she concluded the game by retiring the Jumbos in order in the seventh.

McAnaney earned the win for the Panthers pitching the first four innings on Saturday afternoon, giving up no runs, five hits with no walks and three strikeouts. Constantin earned a save with three shut-out frames.

Santone was dealt the loss after 4 1/3 innings. She allowed both runs on just four hits with no walks and four strikeouts. DiBiase was strong in 2 2/3 inning pitched, allowing two hits.