Panthers drop pitchers' duel in game one; bats erupt in game two
SALEM, Mass. – The Plymouth State University softball team split a pair of games with Salem State University in non-conference softball action at Alumni Field on Wednesday afternoon.
PSU dropped the opener in a classic pitchers' duel, falling 1-0, then outslugged the hosts in game two for a 14-6, six-inning win.
The game one loss snapped the Panthers' five-game winning streak, but PSU improved to 8-8 after rallying for the win in the nightcap. Salem State has alternated wins and losses over its last eight games to move to 8-6.
The Final Score:
Plymouth State 0, Salem State 1 (Game One)
Plymouth State 14, Salem State 6 (Game Two – 6 innings)
Plymouth State (8-8)
Salem State (8-6)
How it Happened (Game One):
* PSU junior Caitlyn Miller (Lee, N.H.) and Vikings' junior Brooke Westmoreland (Saugus, Mass.) were both locked in in the opener, as the duo surrendered just a combined seven hits.
* Miller didn't allow her first hit until a leadoff bunt single to start the fourth. A hit batter gave the Vikings two runners with one out, but a caught stealing and fly out ended the frame.
* PSU broke up the no-hit bid when sophomore Sam Cushing (Amherst, N.H.) singled to start the fifth, but a sharp line drive turned into a double play and, after a single from freshman Katie Burk (East Islip, N.Y.), a groundout ended the frame.
* Salem threatened in the bottom of the inning. A leadoff walk and sacrifice bunt put a runner in scoring position. The next batter reached on a bunt single, but the baserunner attempted to score from second and was thrown out at the plate. Miller got the third out on a comebacker.
* The Panthers put two runners on with two down in the top of the sixth, but couldn't get the big hit to plate a run.
* Miller got two quick outs in the bottom of the inning but a double and error put runners on the corners. The next batter reached on another PSU miscue allowing what would prove to be the game's only run to cross the plate.
* Cushing doubled to open the top of the seventh, but Westmoreland retired the next three batters to earn the win.
Inside the Numbers (Game One):
* Cushing had two hits for the Panthers (single, double), while Burk and freshman Jordyn Babin (New Ipswich, N.H.) both singled.
* Miller gave up three hits and just an unearned run, but fell to 5-4 on the year, while Westmoreland surrendered four hits to improve to 4-3.
* PSU was shutout for the first time this season.
How it Happened (Game Two):
* Game two started in similar fashion as both senior Kayla Mathieu (Fairfax, Vt.) and Vikings' starter Gracie Hogan (Northbridge, Mass.) were solid through the first two innings.
* The PSU offense came alive in the third, exploding for seven runs on seven hits and an error. Senior Lindsey Hall (Midlothian, Va.) got things started with a clean single to center and freshman Niah Colby (Lunenburg, Vt.) and senior Debra Morrill (Concord, N.H.) beat out bunt singles to load the bases.
* After a run was cut down at the plate on a fielder's choice, senior Ashley Deyo (Dover, N.H.) reached on an error to score the first run and freshman Madison Harris (Randolph, Mass.) followed with a two-run single.
* After the second out, junior Jen Landers (Berlin, N.H.) singled to reload the bases and senior Kayla Nester (Fairfax, Vt.) drove in all three runners with a double. Hall followed with an RBI double of her own to cap the big inning.
* Mathieu worked out of a bases loaded, no out jam in the bottom of the fourth allowing just a single run on a fielder's choice and the Plymouth State bats struck for five more runs in the next inning.
* A hit batter and back-to-back walks loaded the bases with one down. Senior Cassidy Emerson (Concord, N.H.) drove in one run with a single to left and Deyo cleared the bases with a three-run triple. Cushing followed, lifting a sac fly to score Deyo as the Panthers took a 12-1 lead.
* The Vikings rallied in the bottom of the inning with five runs of their own, though all but one were unearned.
* PSU tacked on two more in the sixth as both Colby and Morrill scored on a sacrifice fly by Emerson and freshman Jillian Aziz (Plaistow, N.H.) worked a one-two-three bottom of the frame to earn the mercy-rule shortened win.
Inside the Numbers (Game Two):
* Morrill (single, double), Deyo (single, triple), Landers (single, single), Hall (single, double) and Colby (single, double) all had two-hit games for the Panthers.
* PSU pounded out a season-best 14 hits in the game.
* Deyo knocked in a career-high four runs, while Nester set a new personal best with three RBI. Emerson drove in three runs to match her career-best.
* Mathieu went 4.2 innings to pick up the win, improving to 3-3. She struck out three and allowed just two earned runs.
* Aziz walked one and struck out one over the final 1.1 innings.
* The Panthers head to Castleton University on Tuesday (Apr. 2) for a Little East Conference double header starting at 3:30 p.m.
* Salem State hosts Bridgewater State in the MASCAC opener on Saturday (Mar. 30) with games at 12:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m.
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