Panthers can't catch a break; return home winless
CLERMONT, Fla. – The Plymouth State University softball team played a pair of tight games Friday to wrap up its Spring Break trip to the National Training Center, but the Panthers took both games on the chin, falling to Babson College, 3-2, and Hope College (Mich.), 8-2.
Senior Whitney Roberts (Chocorua, N.H.) was locked up in a pitchers' duel in the first game with Babson ace Meghan Hayes, as both tossed shutout softball for the first four innings. PSU broke through with two runs in the top of the fifth inning to take the lead. Sophomore Emma Rhodes (Rochester, N.H.) singled to lead off and senior Cynthia Barata (New Fairfield, Conn.) reached on an infield error. Roberts helped her own cause with an RBI groundout and sophomore Katie Kennard (Concord, N.H.) singled in a second run.
The Beavers came back to score three runs with two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning. Madison Dinaso and Leslie Moore singled and Caitie Benoit walked to load the bases, and Meaghan Merullo delivered a game-winning three-run double. Hayes retired the Panthers in order in the top of the seventh to preserve the win.
After Hope plated single runs in the first and third innings of the second game, PSU came back to tie the game with a pair of runs in the bottom of the third. Freshman Kim Leiter (Manchester, N.H./Central) and Roberts led off with singles, and Kennard blasted a two-run triple to right field. The Flying Dutch pulled away with three runs in each of the fifth and sixth innings to secure the win.
Leiter finished 3-for-3 in the second game for PSU while Roberts and Abreu had two hits apiece.
The Panthers return to New England still looking for the first win after 10 Florida games. PSU will visit Salem State University for a non-conference doubleheader on Thursday at 4:00 p.m.
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