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Split Queens: Plymouth State Softball trades wins with Middlebury

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. - Plymouth State University and Middlebury College split a non-conference softball doubleheader Wednesday afternoon, the Panthers from New Hampshire winning the opener, 13-7, and the Panther from Vermont taking the nightcap, 8-2.

The outcome marked the fourth consecutive split of a softball doubleheader for Plymouth State, and the ninth split in 10 twinbills this season. PSU is now 11-10 overall, while Middlebury moves to 13-8. The games were originally scheduled to be played on Apr. 25, but were moved up a week to accommodate both teams' make-up schedule.

The Plymouth State bats were alive in the first game, scoring in every inning but the fourth and putting up 13 runs on 17 hits. PSU went ahead 5-0 after three innings and never looked back. Junior Danielle Normand (Rumford, R.I.) led the Panther attack, going 3-for-5 with a double, a home run, two RBI and three runs scored. Sophomore Heather Bartolo (Derry, N.H./Pinkerton), freshman Becca DiPietro (Portsmouth, R.I.) and junior Lori Pettengill (Holderness, N.H.) all had two hits and two RBI; sophomore Leanne Barry (Auburn, N.H./Pinkerton) reached base four times with two hits and two walks; and freshman Sammi Romano (Kingston, N.H./Sanborn Regional) cracked a pair of doubles and scored two runs.

PSU sophomore Courtney MacFarland (Hampstead, N.H./Pinkerton) stopped a personal two-game losing streak and improved her record to 6-3, pitching 5.1 innings and allowing five hits and three runs, striking out two.

The visitors scored two runs in the top of the first inning of the second game when Barry singled, scored on a double by Normand, and Normand came home on a single by DiPietro. But then the PSU bats went cold, managing just three singles the rest of the game off Middlebury junior Brittany Burke (Medfield, Mass.), who improved to 8-2.

Middlebury, meanwhile, capitalized on three PSU errors to score four runs in both the second and fourth innings. Plymouth State freshman starter Kat Roland (Norton, Mass./Fontbonne Academy) allowed just two earned runs while striking out six in three-and-a-third innings, and MacFarland was effective in relief, giving up just one hit the rest of the way, but the damage had been done.

PSU's non-conference doubleheader scheduled for Thursday at New England College has been cancelled and will not be made up. The Panthers will return to action Saturday with a key Little East Conference doubleheader at defending champion Rhode Island College (1:00 p.m.) The Anchorwomen, ranked No. 17 in the nation, are currently 22-2 overall, 4-0 in the conference and have won their last 17 games and 22 of their last 23.

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