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April 21, 2002

Panthers keep rolling with sweep of Castleton

PLYMOUTH, N.H. - Freshman Kim Jeffs (Stoughton, Mass.) allowed only four hits and one run in 12 innings Sunday to lead the Plymouth State College softball team to a pair of non-conference wins over Castleton State College at D & M Park.

PSC took the opener, 5-1, and came back to win the nightcap, 12-0 in five innings. The outcome, which gives the Panthers victories in four straight and seven of their last eight outings, improves the team to 19-9-2 overall. The 19 wins is the second-highest season total in school history, and just one victory shy of the PSC record (the 1994 team finished 20-16).

Jeffs retired the first 13 batters she faced in the opener, and allowed only three hits and one run while striking out 15. The only Spartan run came in the seventh inning, when senior Leslie Swenson (Fairlee, Vt.) doubled and scored on an RBI single by Brigette Olson (Webster City, Iowa).

The Panthers scored three times in the first inning of the opener and added solo runs in the third and fourth innings. After sophomore Kristin Balles (Bedford, N.H.) and junior Adriene Harvey (Nantucket, Mass.) each singled in the opening frame, freshman Annie Metz (North Chelmsford, Mass.) drilled an opposite-field three-run home run to right center, her second round-tripper of the season. Metz then singled in the third and came around to score on an infield out, and Harvey drove in a run in the fourth inning with a double, her third hit of the game.

Jeffs allowed only a fourth inning single to Swenson in the nightcap to post her 11th shutout of the season and her eighth one-hitter. She is now 16-4 with a 0.37 earned run average, setting the PSC record for victories in a season (breaking the mark of 14 set in 1994 by Karen Misenheimer). Jeffs, who ranks among the top five in the nation in NCAA Division III for strikeouts and ERA, fanned 11 in five innings in the second game, improving her record-breaking strikeout totals to 262 (with only four walks in 153.1 innings).

The Panther bats erupted for 12 runs on 16 hits in the nightcap. Freshman Michelle Dubois (Auburn, Maine) and sophomore Michelle Knox (Gilmanton, N.H.) had three hits apiece, with Dubois contributing a double and three runs scored and Knox driving in three. Metz had two more hits, including a two-run double, and sophomores Kerry Brady (Jefferson, N.H.) and Jes Leary (Farmington, N.H.) added two hits apiece off the Panther bench.

PSC returns to Little East Conference action Tuesday with a key doubleheader at the University of Southern Maine (3:30 p.m.). Castleton State, 7-7, hosts Green Mountain College Tuesday (2 p.m.).