Softball Earns First NCAA Tourney Win

May 13, 2011

The third-seeded Middlebury Panthers (30-7) eliminated the seventh-seeded Centenary [N.J.] Cyclones (29-13) from the NCAA Division III Softball Regional at Ithaca College, posting a 9-1 win on Friday. The Panthers, who collected the program’s first NCAA playoff win, advance to play Saturday at 10 a.m. against St. John Fisher.

Middlebury had the bats going early, as Emily Burbridge hit a grand slam in the top of the first to put the Panthers on top, 4-0.

The Cyclones scored their run in the fourth inning. Left fielder Jen Vasta and catcher Cara Montferrat led off with infield singles and right fielder Nicole Fleming delivered a two-out RBI hit to pull Centenary to within 4-1 with the tying run at the plate but winning pitcher Ali McAnaney closed out the inning by coaxing a ground ball for the final out.

The Panthers struck for three in the fifth with an RBI single to left by Emma Katz and a two-run single to right by Emily Kraytenberg.

Leading 7-1, Middlebury added a run in the sixth on an RBI double from Jessica Poracky and a solo homer from Burbridge in the seventh. The long-ball was the second of the game for Burbridge, tying Middlebury records for homers in a game (2) and season (6).

Burbridge finished the day 2-3 with two runs scored a five RBI, while Megan Margel was 2-4.

McAnaney improved to 10-1, striking out five and allowing four hits over five innings. Elizabeth Morris followed with two innings of no-hit relief, striking out four batters.