Softball Wins Series Opener Against Wesleyan

April 13, 2012

Elizabeth Morris pitched a one-hit shutout for Middlebury, striking out nine in a 5-0 win over Wesleyan in the opener of a three-game series. The win pushes the Panthers NESCAC West record to 4-0 and an overall mark of 14-7, as Middlebury has won six in a row and 10 of its last 11. The Cardinals (8-16, 3-4) who have dropped six straight, return for a twin-bill on Saturday with the first pitch slated for noon.

The Panthers struck in the first inning, scoring three runs on only two singles. With runners on first and second, Jessa Hoffman loaded the bases with a crisp single to left. After an infield fly put one out on the board, a wild pitch by Dana Levy (1-3) advanced all three runners, including leadoff hitter Alex Scibetta from third. An infield put-out scored another run before a second wild pitch plated Hoffman for the third run of the inning.

That was all that Morris (3-1) needed as she allowed three runners to reach base, one on a hit-by-pitch to start the game, a single by Wesleyan’s Chrissy Bello in the fourth and a fielding error placed another Cardinal on first in the fifth inning.

The Panthers scored two more in the fourth, capped by a leadoff triple by Emma Katz. Kimber Sable knocked Katz home before Middlebury loaded the bases for Jessica Poracky. Poracky drew a walk, forcing in the fifth run of the game.

The Panthers still with no outs and the bases loaded had a great opportunity to blow the game wide open. But a nice put-out at home from shortstop Jill Gately followed by back-to-back strikeouts from reliever Caitlyn Grudzinski ended the threat.

Katz’s triple was the lone extra-base hit on the day as five other Panthers collected singles. Morris' seven scoreless innings push her ERA down to 0.59 with over 35 innings of work.

Levy took the loss, giving up three earned runs, while walking six batters and tossed four wild pitches over the first 2.1 innings. Grudzinski pitched the final 3.2, striking out five, while allowing two earned runs, as the reliever walked four Panthers and hit another.

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