PSU Softball splits doubleheader at Castleton

Jackson leads Panthers with seven hits in twin bill

            CASTLETON, Vt. – Junior Bekah Jackson (Nashua, N.H.) went 7-for-8 with a double, two triples and five runs scored Tuesday afternoon as the Plymouth State University softball team split a non-conference doubleheader against Castleton State College at Spartan Field.

            Jackson was 5-for-5 in the opener, leading an 18-hit Panther attack as PSU won, 10-4, and she added a double and a triple in three trips to the plate in the nightcap, a 4-3 Castleton victory.  The doubleheader split gives PSU a 13-10 overall record while Castleton is now 7-15.

            The Panthers took control of the opener with six runs in the second inning as nine straight batters reached base to open the inning on eight singles and a walk. Senior Calli DeGrace (Plymouth, N.H.), Jackson, senior Jenn Bove (Medford, Mass.) and junior Sam Hebert (Manchester, N.H./Memorial) produced RBI singles and freshman Shirley Butterfield (Atkinson, N.H./Timberlane) capped the rally with a two-run single.

            Jackson finished with singles in the first, second, third and sixth innings, and an RBI triple in the fifth.  Junior Taylor Mancini (Gansevoort, N.Y.), who had three hits and three RBI in the game, drove in two runs with a third-inning double and another with a fifth-inning single. Butterfield also cracked three hits for the Panthers and Bove and Hebert added two each.

            Senior Ali Keith (Northfield, N.H./Winnisquam) recorded her first win (1-0) of the season for PSU with a complete-game effort, allowing just three earned runs on eight hits and a walk, striking out two.

            Jackson helped PSU to a 2-0 lead in the nightcap in the first and third innings.  She led off the game with a triple to left and scored on a Castleton error, and she laced a one-out double to right-center in the third, stole third base and scored on a groundout.

            Castleton rallied to take the lead with an unearned run in the fourth inning and a three-run rally in the fifth.  Freshman Chelsea Grady brought home a run with a bases-loaded infield grounder, and junior Tori Fearon and sophomore Stephanie Sylvester delivered clutch two-out RBI singles.

            The Panthers got one back in the sixth inning when freshman Vanessa Przybylo (Queensbury, N.Y.) cracked an RBI double to left-center field to pull the team to within 4-3, but she was stranded at second.  PSU loaded the bases with two outs in the seventh but couldn't push the tying run across.

            Przybylo allowed just two earned runs on six hits in 4.2 innings for PSU but suffered the loss.  Senior Emily Sweeney went the distance for Castleton to earn her third win (3-7) this spring.

            PSU is right back on the diamond Wednesday with the home opener at D&M Park as the Panthers host Lyndon State College in a 3:30 p.m. doubleheader. 

-- 30 --