Mathieu's strong start leads Panthers to victory
CLERMONT, Fla. – Junior Kayla Mathieu (Fairfax, Vt.) pitched a complete game four-hitter to lead Plymouth State University over D'Youville College, 5-1, in a softball game at Legends Way on Thursday.
Despite throwing just a single one-two-three inning, Mathieu was in control all game. The 5-7 righty kicked off the game with three straight strikeouts, two looking, in the top of the first. Plymouth State (7-5) got a two-out triple from junior Ashley Deyo (Dover, N.H.) in the bottom of the inning but she was stranded at third following a lineout to center.
D'Youville (1-1) scored its only run of the game in the second. After an infield groundout, a walk and single put two runners on. Mathieu threw a called third strike past freshman Rachel Colan (Grand Island, N.Y.), but freshman pitcher Brittaney Goodrich (Eden, N.Y.) helped her own cause with an RBI single.
Plymouth relied on aggressive base running to take the lead in the third. Junior Debra Morrill (Concord, N.H.) singled to start the inning, then stole second and advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt. Junior Lindsay Hall (Midlothian, Va.) came through with a single to score Morrill. Hall stole second and, following an infield popup, scored on a single from sophomore Jen Landers (Berlin, N.H.). Landers swiped the third PSU bag of the inning and came around to score after junior Kayla Nester (Fairfax, Vt.) reached on a two-base error to make it 3-1.
The Panthers added two more runs in the fourth. Junior Mel Goss (Templeton, Mass.) started the rally with a leadoff single. A sacrifice advanced her to second and Morrill's single put runners on the corners. Morrill picked up her second steal of the game and junior Cassidy Emerson (Concord, N.H.) drove in a run with an RBI groundout as Morrill moved to third. Hall worked a walk, then the Panthers pulled off a double steal to allow Morrill to cross the plate and PSU had a 5-1 lead.
That was more than enough for Mathieu, who gave up just a seventh-inning single the rest of the way. DYC was gifted a baserunner in the fifth after a Panther error, but Mathieu retired the next three batters in order. A one-out walk and stolen base gave the Spartans a runner in scoring position in the sixth but Mathieu induced a pair of fly balls to prevent any runs. Goodrich's single opened the seventh, but Mathieu got an infield popup and double play to close out the win.
Morrill finished 2-3 with three steals and two runs scored to spark the offense. PSU stole six bases in the game. Mathieu ended with six strikeouts against a pair of walks and four hits allowed in seven full innings to move to 1-0.
Goodrich went all six innings for the Spartans, giving up five runs, four earned, on six hits and two walks. The rookie struck out five in her first collegiate start.
Plymouth wraps up its Spring Break trip with two more games on Friday. The Panthers face Bowdoin College at 9:00 a.m. and #10 University of Wisconsin Whitewater at 11:30 a.m.
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