Miller tosses two-hit shutout in season opener
KISSIMMEE, Fla. – Junior pitcher Caitlyn Miller (Lee, N.H.) kicked off the Plymouth State University softball season in dominant fashion, throwing a complete game, two-hit shutout in a 1-0 win over DeSales University at Fortune Field at THE Spring Games on Friday.
Plymouth State dropped a shortened 10-1 decision to Otterbein University in the team's second contest of the day.
In the season-opener, PSU scored the game's only run in the top of the first on a two-out single by sophomore Samantha Cushing (Amherst, N.H.). Miller made it hold up, allowing just two singles and three walks while striking out five over seven overpowering innings.
Cushing drove in the Panthers' lone run in the second contest on a first-inning base hit, but Otterbein took advantage of a pair of PSU miscues to plate six runs in the third and the Cardinals would coast to a five-inning win.
Plymouth State moves to 1-1 on the season, while DeSales drops to 5-7 and Otterbein goes to 6-4.
The Final Score:
Plymouth State 1, DeSales 0
Plymouth State 1, Otterbein 10
Plymouth State (1-1)
How it Happened (DeSales):
* Senior Debra Morrill (Concord, N.H.) led off the game with a single to center, then swiped second. Classmate Hannah Seidner (Pembroke, N.H.) was hit by a pitch, but a double play nearly squashed the rally.
* Cushing followed with a base knock to left to plate Seidner for what would prove to be the game's only run.
* Miller faced only one over the minimum through four with the lone baserunner coming on a hit-by-pitch.
* The Bulldogs best chance came in the bottom of the seventh. A walk, base hit and passed ball gave DeSales two runners in scoring position with one out, but Miller induced a pop-up and struck out the final batter to secure the win.
Inside the Numbers (DeSales):
* Morrill went 3-for-4 and stole a base from the leadoff spot, while Emerson went 2-for-3.
* Seidner, Cushing and Goss also singled for the Panthers.
* Miller needed 97 pitches to throw the complete game, improving to 1-0 on the year.
How it Happened (Otterbein):
* Cushing came up with a key hit in the first inning again. Morrill singled to lead off, advanced to second on a groundout and moved to third on a single by senior Ashley Deyo (Dover, N.H.). Cushing followed with a base hit through the right side to plate one run, but a pair of groundouts ended the threat of a bigger inning.
* Senior Kayla Mathieu (Fairfax, Vt.) retired the Cardinals in order in the first two innings, but a pair of Panthers' errors led to a big third inning for Otterbein.
* A throwing error tied the game and a single up the middle gave Otterbein a 2-1 lead. After a hit batsman, Mathieu induced three straight groundballs, but an error led to two more runs and the Cardinals tacked on another two more on base hits.
* Otterbein added two more runs in the fourth on a pair of sacrifice flies. Emerson singled in the bottom of the inning, but was erased on a double play.
* A one-out RBI double and two-out run-scoring single in the top of the fifth capped the scoring for the Cardinals.
Inside the Numbers (Otterbein):
* Morrill, Deyo, Cushing, Emerson and freshman Katie Burk (East Islip, N.Y.) all singled for the Panthers.
* Mathieu surrendered eight runs over 3.1 innings, though only four were earned.
* Freshman Jillian Aziz (Plaistow, N.H.) made her collegiate debut in the circle, allowing a pair of runs over the final 1.2 innings.
Straight from the Coach's Mouth:
"We competed in the first game," said head coach Bruce Addison. "Caitlin [Miller] had a great day in the circle. We made too many mistakes in the third inning in the second game. You can't give a good team added opportunities."
- The Panthers play two more on Saturday (Mar. 9), starting with Webster University at 12:30 p.m., followed by a match-up with Suffolk University at 4:30 p.m.
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