Stingy pitching, early runs lead Panthers to victory
SALEM, Mass. – The Plymouth State University softball team got a pair of strong starting pitching efforts on the way to a double header sweep over Salem State University at Alumni Field on Wednesday evening.
Sophomore Caitlyn Miller (Lee, N.H.) threw four innings of two hit ball and the Panthers' offense erupted for seven first inning runs as PSU took game one in five innings, 10-0, while junior Kayla Mathieu (Fairfax, Vt.) fanned six while allowing just four base hits in a 5-1 win in the nightcap.
The Panthers improve to 9-7 on the year, while Salem State dips to 6-6.
PSU jumped on Vikings' starter Megan Black (Winchendon, Mass.) in the top of the first. Senior Nina Murray (Saugus, Mass.) led off the game with a single and moved to second on an infield hit by sophomore Nora Butler (Tewksbury, Mass.). Junior Ashley Deyo (Dover, N.H.) reached on an error that allowed Murray to score from second and a hit by pitch loaded the bases with none out for senior Abrie Davis (Amherst, N.H.). Davis ripped an RBI single and junior Cassidy Emerson (Concord, N.H.) drove in the third Panther run with a sacrifice fly to center.
The lead was more than enough for Miller, who turned in another overpowering performance. The 5-8 southpaw allowed just four baserunners over her four innings of work to improve to 4-5 on the year. The Salem State offense was able to muster just a single and a walk through the first two innings.
PSU tacked on two more in the top of the third with a two-out rally. Junior Lindsey Hall (Midlothian, Va.) singled to left and Butler reached on a two-base error to move Hall to third. Deyo followed with a two-run double to center to make it 9-0.
The Vikings put together the closest thing to a rally in the bottom of the inning. A hit batsman and single put the first two runners on and a bunt moved them into scoring position with one out, but Miller bore down to strike out the next two batters to keep Salem State off the scoreboard.
Junior Mel Goss (Templeton, Mass.) drove in the tenth Panther run in the fourth with an RBI single and Miller struck out the side in the bottom of the inning. Junior Hannah Seidner (Pembroke, N.H.) got three groundouts in the bottom of the fifth to close out the game.
Eight of the nine Panther starters had base hits and Murray, Butler and Emerson all posted two hit games as the Panthers pounded out 12 hits. Deyo's three RBI give her a team-leading 11.
The Panthers again jumped on the Salem State starter, this time plating three runs in the top of the first. Seidner reached on an error and Butler singled, but was thrown out trying to advance to second. Seidner came home on a passed ball to make it 1-0.
Deyo walked and stole second before Davis drove her in with a double. After a groundout and wild pitch, Hall doubled to right to give PSU an early 3-0 lead.
Mathieu retired seven Vikings in a row before a leadoff double from senior Jen Crovo (Melrose, Mass.) to start the bottom of the fourth. Mathieu responded with three fly ball outs and the Panthers added another run in the fifth.
Davis singled to start the inning. Junior Autumn Beyor (Highgate, Vt.) came on to run and moved up to third after an infield error. Hall grounded out to third to plate Beyor and increase the lead to 4-0. Mathieu followed with another one-two-three inning.
Salem State pushed a run across in the bottom of the sixth. Senior April Adams (Burlington, Mass.) started the inning with a single and was sacrificed to second. Crovo followed with a single to center to make it 4-1 and chase Mathieu. Senior Allison Moylan (Methuen, Mass.) came on and closed out the inning with a ground out and strike out around a walk.
The Panthers got the run back on an RBI single from senior Mary King (Lancaster, N.H.) in the top of the seventh and Moylan pitched around a one-out single in the bottom of the inning to earn the sweep.
Butler, Davis and Hall all had three hits while Seidner had a two-hit game. Mathieu gave up four hits and one run in 5.1 innings while striking out six to pick up the win and improve to 2-0. Moylan allowed just a single and walk in her 1.2 innings to pick up her first save of the year.
Plymouth State opens Little East Conference (LEC) play with a double header at Rhode Island College on Saturday. Games are scheduled for 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m.
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