Miller tosses complete game five-hitter, Murray homers for Panthers
CLERMONT, Fla. – Sophomore Caitlyn Miller (Lee, N.H.) pitched a complete game five-hitter, escaping a bases loaded, one out situation in the bottom of the eighth inning, as Plymouth State University topped Westfield State University, 5-3, in nine innings in the Panthers' season opener at Hancock Field on Friday afternoon.
The game headed to extra innings tied 2-2. After PSU failed to score in the top of the eighth, Westfield put together a rally in the bottom half of the inning. Freshman Lindsay Cordopatri (Walpole, Mass.) was placed on second, then advanced to third after a fly out. Miller intentionally walked the next two batters to set up a force at any base, then retired the next two hitters on an infield popup and strike out.
After escaping the jam, the Panthers broke through in the top of the ninth. Sophomore Nora Butler (Tewksbury, Mass.) was placed on second to start the inning, and senior Mary King (Lancaster, N.H.) sacrificed her to third. Classmate Nina Murray (Saugus, Mass.) singled to left for her third hit of the game, but Butler was cut down at the plate. Junior Cassidy Emerson (Concord, N.H.) singled to center and Murray scored all the way from first when the Owls' centerfielder was unable to come up with a diving catch.
After a walk to junior Ashley Deyo (Dover, N.H.), senior Abrie Davis (Amherst, N.H.) gave the Panthers some insurance with an RBI single to left. Emerson scored and Deyo came around after a throwing error to give PSU a 5-2 lead. Miller closed out the win with a stress-free bottom of the ninth inning on a sacrifice, a fly out to center and an infield groundout.
Murray opened the game with a leadoff homer to right center to give the Panthers a quick 1-0 lead. She finished 3-5 and scored three runs. Emerson, Davis and junior Mel Goss (Templeton, Mass.) all had two-hit games. Miller threw all nine innings, giving up just the five hits and allowing two runs, one earned, while striking out six to pick up her first win of the season.
Sophomore Emily Woodworth (Marlborough, Mass.) got the nod for the Owls, going 8.2 while allowing ten hits. Her defense let her down, though, committing six errors as only three of the Panthers' five runs were earned. The loss drops Woodworth to 1-4 on the year.
Plymouth State (1-0) will face North Park College this afternoon, while Westfield wraps up its Spring Break trip at 1-9.
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