Panthers pound out 11 hits to stave off elimination
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Sophomore Caitlyn Miller (Lee, N.H.) needed just 63 pitches to throw her first career no-hitter as top-seeded Plymouth State University knocked off fifth-seeded University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, 4-0, in Game 7 of the Little East Conference (LEC) softball tournament at D&M Park on Friday afternoon.
With the win the Panthers improve to 25-14 and move on to day three of the tournament. PSU will face the loser of fourth-seeded Western Connecticut State and sixth-seeded University of Massachusetts Boston at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday. With the loss the Corsairs were eliminated from the tournament, ending their season at 24-15.
In PSU's second elimination game of the tournament, Miller carved through the Corsairs' lineup. She allowed only three baserunners while facing just two over the minimum, keeping the UMD batters off-balance throughout. In the second freshman Jill Richards (Kingston, Mass.) reached on a fielding error, in the fourth Miller hit a batter and in the seventh she momentarily lost the zone for a four-pitch walk, but the next batter lined into a double play.
Meanwhile the Panthers' bats came alive. Senior Nina Murray (Saugus, Mass.) opened the third with a single to center and was bunted to second. Junior Ashley Deyo (Dover, N.H.) followed with a base hit up the middle and senior Abrie Davis (Amherst, N.H.) ripped a ground rule double down the left field line for a 1-0 lead. Junior Cassidy Emerson (Concord, N.H.) executed a perfect squeeze bunt for a second run.
Plymouth State added another pair of runs in the fifth. With one down and Davis on first, Emerson poked a single to center and sophomore Nora Butler (Tewksbury, N.H.) smashed a ball down the line and off the glove of the Corsairs' third baseman to score Davis. Sophomore Jen Landers (Berlin, N.H.) followed with a drive to right to knock in the fourth Panthers' run.
PSU had a chance to tack on more in the sixth, but sophomore Annika Evensen (Lake Forest, Calif.) worked out of trouble. Plymouth loaded the bases with one out, but Evensen induced an infield fly then helped her own cause when she snared Emerson's sharp line drive back up the middle to escape unscathed.
Miller struck out two and improved to 15-7 on the season. Murray, Deyo, Emerson and Butler all had two-hit games, with Deyo also drawing a walk to reach base three times.
Senior Hannah Smith (Attleboro, Mass.) took the loss for the Corsairs to fall to 13-8. She struck out four in her six innings of work.
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