PSU Softball splits doubleheader with Middlebury

Jackson continues hot bat for Panthers

            PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Senior Bekah Jackson (Nashua, N.H.) cracked a triple and a grand slam and knocked in six runs Tuesday afternoon at D&M Park as Plymouth State University defeated Middlebury College, 8-3, in the second game of a non-conference college softball doubleheader. Middlebury took the opener, 6-5, breaking a 5-5 tie with a bases-loaded walk in the top of the sixth inning.

            PSU improves its record to 17-11 overall, while Middlebury is now 17-10.

            Middlebury jumped on top in the opener with a four-run first inning.  Senior Emily Kraytenberg singled home a run, freshman Sarah Freyre followed with a two-run double, and junior Kelsey Martel capped the rally with an RBI single.

            PSU got on the board with a run in the second on an RBI double by junior Whitney Roberts (Chocorua, N.H.), but Middlebury got that back in the top of the third on an RBI single by sophomore Carlyn Vachow. The home team pulled even with two runs in the third and fourth innings. Jackson cracked her Little East Conference-leading eighth home run of the season, a two-run blast in the third, and freshman Masha Lange (Danville, N.H.) tripled home a run in the fourth and came home on an error.

            Middlebury plated the winning run in the sixth when Vachow, senior Alex Scibetta and junior Christina Bicks all singled to load the bases, and sophomore Jackie Stern drew the two-out walk to force in a run. PSU put runners at first and third with two outs in the seventh but couldn't push the tying run across home plate.

            Sophomore Kat Maehr earned the win in relief for Middlebury, allowing just two unearned runs on four hits over four innings, striking out three.

            PSU took a 2-0 lead in the first inning of the nightcap. After Lange led off with a double, Jackson tripled her in and then came home on an infield groundout.  Middlebury scored without a hit in the second inning on a walk, and infield grounder and two wild pitches, but the Panthers took a commanding lead with four runs in the last of the second, all coming on Jackson's grand slam to right field that broke the PSU single-season home run record. Jackson leads the Little East with a .461 batting average, a school-record nine home runs and 34 runs batted in.

            Martel singled home a run for Middlebury in the fourth inning, and senior Kimber Sable did the same in the sixth. PSU plated its final two runs in the fourth on a Jackson ground out and an RBI single by senior Jackie Digman (Burlington, Mass.)

            Freshman Callia Abbott (Atco, N.J.) recorded her first career victory for PSU, pitching six innings and allowing three runs on four hits and five walks, fanning two.

            PSU is right back on the diamond Wednesday with a Little East doubleheader against rival Keene State College.  Middlebury plays a NESCAC series Friday and Saturday at Williams College. 

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