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PSU Softball splits final two games in Florida

            FORT MYERS, Fla. - The Plymouth State University softball team split its final two games in the Gene Cusic Collegiate Classic Friday, defeating Fredonia State (N.Y.) 7-1 in the opener but falling to Middlebury College in the second game, 2-0.

            The Panther offense enjoyed one of its best games of the season against Fredonia, scoring seven runs on eight hits.  It was a different story in the nightcap as Middlebury sophomore Brittany Burke (Medfield, Mass.) tossed a no-hitter and struck out five.  PSU returns to New England with a 2-8 record, while Middlebury is now 4-6 and Fredonia 0-1.

            PSU pulled away from Fredonia, scoring once in the third and fifth innings and putting the game away with three in the sixth and two in the seventh.  Sophomore Devin Caswell (Wilton, N.H.) had two hits and scored two runs, including a fifth-inning home run.  Freshman Kristen Abbott (Londonderry, N.H.) also had two hits for PSU, freshman Rachel Pothier (Reading, Mass.) contributed an RBI double, and freshman Heather Bartolo (Derry, N.H./Pinkerton) added a run-scoring triple.

            Senior Rose Eaton (Concord, N.H.) recorded her first victory of the season, allowing only one run on six hits (no walks) while fanning seven. She lost her shutout bid in the seventh inning when freshman Meghan Sullivan (Derby, N.Y.) tripled and scored on a sacrifice fly.

            PSU freshmen pitchers Courtney MacFarland (Hampstead, N.H./Pinkerton) and Lisa Illinger (Hanover, Conn.) combined to limit Middlebury to two runs on four hits in the second game, but Burke blanked PSU to capture the win.

            Plymouth State returns to New England for the rest of the schedule, beginning Wednesday (Mar. 29) with a single game at Emerson College (4:00 p.m.)  The Little East Conference opener is Saturday, Apr. 1, at UMass Dartmouth (1:00 p.m.) 

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