Panthers down Middlebury, fall to nationally-ranked Luther
CLERMONT, Fla. – The Plymouth State University softball team split its final two games on its spring trip to the National Training Center, defeating Middlebury College in the first game, 3-1, and falling to #8 nationally-ranked Luther College (Iowa) in the nightcap, 3-0.
Senior Emma Rhodes (Rochester, N.H.) delivered a pair of RBI singles and freshman pitcher Caitlyn Miller (Lee, N.H.) scattered five hits and one run in the win over Middlebury. Miller struck out six batters to improve her record to 4-0 on the season.
PSU managed just three singles off Luther pitchers Annie Versnik and Samantha Bratland. Versnick went five scoreless innings, allowing just one hit to improve her record to 8-1, while Bratland struck out five over the last two innings to post her first save.
Plymouth State completes the Florida trip with an 8-6 overall record, the best mark since the 2009 Panthers returned from the Sunshine State with a 7-3 mark. It was the season opener for Middlebury and Luther is now 16-2.
NCAA Division III College Softball
at National Training Center, Clermont, Fla. – Friday, March 24, 2017
Plymouth State 3, Middlebury 1
Luther 3, Plymouth State 0
Records: Plymouth State 8-6; Middlebury 0-2; #9 Luther 16-2
GAME 1 HIGHLIGHTS
* PSU scored all the runs it would need with a two-run second inning. Sophomore Lindsey Hall (Midlothian, Va.) reached on an error, stole second, went to third on a groundout, and scored on a sacrifice bunt by freshman Haley Birch (Salem, Conn.). Two batters later, Birch scored on Rhodes' two-out single.
* Middlebury cut the margin in half with a run in the top of the sixth inning as Sarah Freyre tripled and scored on a single by Erin Giles. PSU got that run back in the bottom of the inning when sophomore Mel Goss (Templeton, Mass.) led off with a walk, and pinch runner Autumn Beyor (Highgate, Vt.) came around to score on Rhodes' second RBI hit of the game.
* Miller did the rest for PSU, limiting Middlebury to five hits and a walk, retiring the last six batters she faced. Irene Margiotta took the loss (0-1), allowing just three runs (one earned) on four hits and four walks, striking out two.
GAME 2 HIGHLIGHTS
* Luther scored all the runs it would need with two in the bottom of the first inning, as Natalie Stockman and Bailey Hocker delivered RBI singles.
* PSU was held hitless until the fifth inning when sophomore Kayla Mathieu (Fairfax, Vt.) singled off Versnik with two outs, but she was stranded. The Panthers loaded the bases in the seventh inning with singles by junior Abrie Davis (Amherst, N.H.) and sophomore Cassidy Emerson (Concord, N.H.) and a walk to freshman Jen Landers (somewhere), but Bratland struck out the next two batters to close out the win.
* The Panthers play a doubleheader on Monday for the fourth straight day, meeting Worcester State University at 9:00 a.m. and St. Olaf College at 11:30 a.m.
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