PLYMOUTH, NH - OK, it's not Mark McGwire hitting 70 home runs in a season or Hank Aaron breaking Babe Ruth's career mark of 714, but Sara Wormwood (Rutland, VT) had a pretty good day at the plate on Tuesday.
The Plymouth State College softball slugger cracked three home runs in a doubleheader sweep over UMass Boston, 12-2 and 7-1. In the process, she became the school's single-game, single-season and career home run champion. She nearly did it with one swing of the bat.
A 5'10" power-hitting junior first baseman, Wormwood hit a two-run homer over the center field fence in the first inning of game one to give PSC a 2-0 lead. It was her fourth of the season and the eighth of her career, matching the single-season record and surpassing the career mark held by Karen Carpenter, who hit four in 1996 and seven from 1993-96.
Wormwood had only just begun. She led off the third inning with an inside-the-park home run off the top of the right-center field fence, becoming the first player in school history to hit two round-trippers in a game. And she capped off her 4-for-6, 5-RBI day with a two-run blast over the fence down the right field line in the second inning of the nightcap, giving her a Little East Conference-leading six home runs on the season. She also has a team-leading 19 RBI, 17 runs scored and a .393 average in 20 games this spring.
"She was just phenomenal, and she played great defense on top of that," said PSC head coach Moira Long. "I don't think you'll see a player have a day like that again. You hope to, but those are the kinds of days that only come along once in a long, long time."
A shortstop her first season and a half, Wormwood took over first base midway through last season and has settled in nicely as an excellent defensive player. She has been a strong hitter her entire career, batting .370 as a freshman with five doubles, two home runs and 25 RBI, and hitting .381 as a sophomore with six doubles, two home runs and 27 RBI. Wormwood earned All-Little East Conference honors in 1997, and All-Northeast Region in 1998.
"Defensively, nothing gets by her," said Long. "Our infielders could throw it in the dirt or behind her or over head, and she catches it. We've gotten a lot of outs because of her. Offensively, she's always a threat, every time up, and probably for extra base hits. Our team has a phenomenal amount of confidence in her."
Wormwood hopes to lead the Panthers, 6-14 overall and 2-2 in the Little East, to victories Saturday (Apr. 17) in an LEC doubleheader at Rhode Island College (1:00 p.m.).
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