PSU Softball wins twice against Middlebury

Jackson, Hebert set records en route to sweep

            PLYMOUTH, N.H. – The Plymouth State University softball team hit four home runs and set two single-season school records Wednesday afternoon en route to a non-conference doubleheader sweep over Middlebury College, 11-7 and 9-1, at PSU's D&M Park.

            Sophomores Jackie Digman and Bekah Jackson and junior Calli DeGrace went deep to backbone the Panthers in the opening game, while sophomore Taylor Mancini belted a grand slam to lead the way in the nightcap.  PSU moved over the .500 mark to 19-17 overall, while Middlebury dropped to 18-12.

  Jackson Hebert

            With two hits in the first game, Jackson set a new PSU single-season record for hits with 55, breaking the mark of 54 by Kristen Hodsdon in 1994. Jackson, who broke Hodsdon's single-season standard for runs scored on Tuesday, broke the hits record in style with a three-run home run to right field in the fourth inning.  Sophomore Sam Hebert drove in a run in each game with a grounder to the right side, knocking in her 34th and record 35th runs of the season.  Adriene Harvey held the previous Plymouth State RBI mark (34), set in 2002.

            Junior Jessa Hoffman and Jessica Poracky blasted back-to-back home runs in the fifth inning of the first game for Middlebury, each finishing the game with three RBI.  The visitors managed just three hits in the nightcap, two by junior Emma Katz. The game was also a homecoming for Middlebury catcher Aly Downing, who played at Plymouth Regional High School.

            PSU took a 3-0 lead in the opener on a sacrifice fly by senior Allie Luisi and Digman's two-run homer to left, her sixth of the season.  DeGrace's solo shot in the second inning made it 4-0.  Middlebury got on the board with two runs on one hit in the third inning, as Katz and Christina Bicks drew walks and ended up scoring.  Katz scored on a double by Hoffman and Bicks came home on a sacrifice fly by Poracky.

            The Panthers extended the lead to 10-2 with six runs in the fourth inning. DeGrace and Digman had RBI singles and Jackson lined her three-run homer to right.  Middlebury kept battling, with the Hoffman and Poracky home runs plating three runs in the fifth and Bicks and Poracky knocking in two more in the sixth. PSU scored an unearned run in the bottom of the sixth to round out the scoring.

            Middlebury scored a run on two hits in the top of the first inning of the nightcap as Katz singled, went to third on a passed ball and wild pitch, and scored on a single by Poracky.  Unfortunately, for the visitors, they got only one more hit the rest of the game, a third inning double by Katz.

            PSU took the lead for good with four runs in the second inning, all coming on Mancini's opposite-field grand slam to right.  After plating two more runs in the third inning, the Panthers ended the game on the mercy rule with three runs in the fifth inning.  DeGrace knocked in two with a single to center and senior Kristen Vibberts finished it off with an RBI single.

            Freshman Cynthia Barata earned the win for PSU to even her record at 5-5, allowing just one unearned run on three hits and a walk and striking out two.

            Plymouth State wraps up the regular season Saturday at D&M Park with a Senior Day doubleheader against Little East Conference foe Rhode Island College.  Middlebury plays NESCAC conference games Friday and Saturday at Amherst. 

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