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PSU Softball splits pair with Castleton in home opener

Digman, Galvin lead Panthers to seventh straight win in first game

            PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Senior Jackie Digman (Burlington, Mass.) homered and classmate Nora Galvin pitched a complete-game six-hitter Thursday afternoon to lead Plymouth State University past Castleton State College, 3-1, in the opener of a non-conference softball doubleheader in what were PSU's first home games of the season at D&M Park.

            The Spartans came back to take game two, 5-1, in eight innings, scoring four times in the top of the eighth inning after plating just two runs in the first 14 innings of the twin bill.  The outcome snapped PSU's winning streak at seven games as the Panthers drop to 14-10, while the Spartans complete the day at 7-13 overall.

            Galvin matched her season high with nine strikeouts to earn the win in the opener; she scattered six hits and two walks to improve her record to 5-4 on the season. Digman clouted her second home run of the season to right center field to lead off the fifth inning to provide Galvin with an insurance run.

            Castleton took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first when Kristi Lawless walked, went to third on a double by Tori Feuron and scored on a single by Brittany Brayman.  PSU answered quickly in the bottom of the first when senior Bekah Jackson (Nashua, N.H.) laced a lead-off triple to left center field and freshman Masha Lange (Danville, N.H.) brought her home with a sacrifice fly to center.

            The Panthers scored an unearned run and what would turn out to be the game-winning run in the second inning when sophomore Shirley Butterfield (Comeehwew) singled and later scored on a Spartan error.

            The teams traded unearned runs in the early innings of the nightcap. Castleton pulled ahead in the second inning with a run on an infield error, and PSU answered in the fourth on a sacrifice fly by sophomore Nicole Abreu (Hudson, N.H.)

            The Spartans pulled out the win with four runs in the top of the seventh, three of which were unearned. Jessica Babcock and Brayman had RBI single to key the rally.

            Kayla Wood earned the win in relief for Castleton, pitching four hitless innings with just one walk while striking out four. Veronica Arnone worked the first four innings and allowed two hits and one unearned run, fanning two. Junior Whitney Roberts (Chocorua, N.H.) surrendered just one earned run on seven hits in eight innings for PSU but took the loss (9-4).

            PSU resumes Little East Conference play Saturday with a visit to the University of Massachusetts Boston for a noon doubleheader. The Spartans return to action on Saturday when they travel to Johnson State for a doubleheader beginning at 2 p.m. 

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