Plymouth State and Castleton split softball doubleheader

Panthers hit three home runs to win first game

            PLYMOUTH, N.H. – The Plymouth State University softball team played its first home games of the season Tuesday afternoon and split a non-conference doubleheader against Castleton State College, with the Panthers winning the opener, 11-2 in five innings, and the Spartans taking the nightcap, 6-3.

            Senior Allie Luisi and sophomores Bekah Jackson and Jackie Digman each hit home runs to lead Plymouth State in the opener.  PSU scored three runs in the first inning and added four more in both the second and fourth innings, finishing with 11 runs on 11 hits. Sophomore Sam Hebert also homered for PSU in the nightcap.

            Castleton came back to win the second game as sophomore Tori Fearon had two hits and three runs batted in and junior pitcher Taylor Lively earned the win with a complete-game effort, striking out 10.

            The Spartans took a 2-0 lead in the first inning of the opener on a two-run homer by senior Shannon Jipner, her fourth of the season.  The Panthers answered with three in the bottom of the first on back-to-back solo home runs by Luisi and Jackson, the first of the season for both, and an RBI double by Hebert.

            PSU tacked on four more runs in the second inning.  After loading the bases with no outs, Luisi and Jackson hit consecutive sacrifice flies to plate a pair, and Digman followed with a two-run homer to left to make it a 7-2 game.  The Panthers put the game out of reach in the fourth, again loading the bases with no outs; Hebert drove one home with a single, freshman Cynthia Barata followed with a sacrifice fly, and sophomore Taylor Mancini brought home the final run with an infield grounder.

            Luisi, Jackson, Digman and Hebert all finished with two hits each for PSU, while senior Kristen Vibberts reached base in all three plate appearances with two hits and a walk. Sophomore Nora Galvin earned the win for PSU, pitching four innings and allowing just two runs while striking out three.  Junior Ali Keith pitched one inning of scoreless relief.

            Fearon delivered a two-out, two-run single in the third inning of the nightcap to put the Spartans in front, 2-0. Fearon added an RBI double in the fifth inning, and junior Caylee Fleury smacked a two-out, two-run single to highlight a three-run sixth inning for the Spartans.

            After Digman helped PSU manufacture a run in the fourth inning, Hebert homered to left in the sixth inning, her third of the season.  Jackson also collected two more hits in the game to finish 4-for-6 on the day.

            PSU is right back on the diamond Wednesday with a non-conference doubleheader at Lyndon State College.  The Spartans visit New England College on Thursday for a North Atlantic Conference twin bill.

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