Softball Drops Two At RPI

April 18, 2012

Middlebury dropped a pair of non-league games at Rensselaer on Wednesday. Kelly Erkert delivered the game-winning hit in the bottom of the seventh inning in game two and RPI's pitchers' posted solid outings to lead RPI to a 4-2 win in game one and 3-2 in the nightcap at Doris Robison Field. RPI moves to 20-10 on the season, while the Panthers slip to 16-9 overall.

After the game one victory, the Engineers found themselves trailing the visiting Panthers heading into the final inning of the game. Down by a 2-0 deficit, RPI mounted a comeback as sophomore Tori Hunt singled, followed by a double to the left field wall from junior Jen Shields to put runners on second and third with no outs.  Sophomore Dani Grage then sent a sacrifice fly to center to bring in Hunt as the Panthers made their third pitching change of the game to sophomore Alexa Lesensky.

With runners on the corner and an out on the board, rookie Kathleen Baker stole second, setting up the game-winner by Erkert, who fired a shot into deep into left field to bring in the winning runs.  In the circle, Osmanski picked up the victory - her fourth of the season - allowing two runs on seven hits over seven innings. She also struck out three batters.

Offensively, Erkert led the way, going 2-4 with two RBIs, while four other players also recorded hits.

For the Panthers, Lesenskyj took the loss, while Kelsey Martel pitched 3.1 innings, allowing two runs on three hits.  Senior catcher Alyson Downing was a perfect 3-3 at the plate.

In game one, it was a pitcher's duel until the fourth inning, when the Engineers broke onto the scoreboard off a sacrifice fly from junior Aimee Konet. Hunt got things going as she reached and later stole second base. A single to left by Shields advanced Hunt to third, later scoring on Konet's hit to left.

Rensselaer tacked on another run in the bottom of the fifth when, with runners on and two out on the board, junior captain Gillian McCarthy sent a long ball to left field to drive in senior Samantha Paulding.

The lead was short-lived for the Engineers as the visiting Panthers tied the game in the top-half of the sixth frame.  Junior Emma Katz opened the inning as she reached on an error.  After a walk to rookie Christina Bicks, sophomore Kimber Sable advanced the runners with a sacrifice hit.

Junior Jessa Hoffman changed things up with a swing of the bat, sending the ball to right to drive in both runners and make it a 2-2 game.

Rensselaer responded in the bottom of the inning as Shields led things off with a single. After advancing to second on a sacrifice play by Konet, Grage singled and advanced to second on a throw to give the Engineers runners on second and third.

Paulding then reached on a fielder's choice, which saw Shields cross the plate to regain the RPI lead (3-2). Erkerttacked on the fourth run for the home team on the next play with a one-out sacrifice hit to bring in Grage and make it a 4-2 game.

Rookie hurler Kristina Weltzin  remained solid in the seventh, finishing with her 13th complete game of the season.  She improves to 15-6 overall behind six strikeouts and just two runs allowed on three hits over seven innings.

Middlebury starter Martel shouldered the loss, allowing four runs on nine hits.  She struck out one batter and walked two.

Middlebury plays at NESCAC-rival Williams on Friday (5pm) and Saturday (12pm), respectively.