Miller wins both games, allows zero earned over 11 total innings
GORHAM, Maine – Juniors Caitlyn Miller (Lee, N.H.) picked up wins in both games after not allowing an earned run over 11 combined innings to lead Plymouth State University to a sweep of Castleton University in a Little East Conference (LEC) softball double header at USM Softball Field at the University of Southern Maine on Sunday.
The Plymouth State offense jumped all over the Spartans in the opener, winning 11-1 in five innings, and PSU erased a 3-0 deficit to win game two, 5-4, in eight innings to complete the sweep and remain unbeaten in LEC play.
The Panthers put up a six-spot in the top of the first of game one and never looked back en route to a lopsided victory. Sophomore Samantha Cushing (Amherst, N.H.) had three hits and drove in two, and senior Mel Goss (Templeton, N.H.) launched her team-leading fourth home run of the year in the win.
PSU rallied from 3-0 and 4-3 to win the nightcap. After falling behind 3-0 early, freshman Madison Harris (Randolph, Mass.) blasted a game-tying homer in the next half inning. Castleton retook the lead, 4-3, in the fifth but the Panthers responded immediately to even the score again and junior Jen Landers (Berlin, N.H.) scored the game-winning run in the top of the eighth to secure the sweep.
The games were played at the University of Southern Maine, as neither teams' fields were in playable condition.
Plymouth State improves to 11-9 overall and a perfect 4-0 in the LEC, while Castleton drops to 7-12 and 1-5 in league play.
The Final Score:
Plymouth State 11, Castleton 1 (Game One – Five innings)
Plymouth State 5, Castleton 4 (Game Two – Eight innings)
Plymouth State (9-9, 2-0 LEC)
Castleton (7-10, 1-3 LEC)
How it Happened (Game One):
* PSU wasted little time getting the offense going sending ten batters to the plate in a six-run top of the first. Harris got the scoring started with an RBI single to score senior Debra Morrill (Concord, N.H.).
* Goss was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded and Landers followed with a walk to force in another run.
* Junior Nora Butler (Tewksbury, Mass.) made it 4-0 with a run-scoring single to right and senior Lindsey Hall (Midlothian, Va.) drove in another run with a fielder's choice. PSU made it 6-0 when Landers scored on a failed pickoff attempt to cap the inning.
* Goss homered to lead off the third to push the lead to 7-0 and Cushing drove in a run with a bases-loaded single in the fourth.
* Meanwhile, Miller was cruising in the circle. She didn't allow a baserunner through the first 3.2 innings, but with two down in the fourth Castleton strung together back-to-back singles and an error allowed the Spartans to spoil the shutout.
* The Panthers tacked on three more in the fifth on a Morrill sacrifice fly, RBI single from senior Cassidy Emerson (Concord, N.H.) and Cushing's run-scoring single.
* Freshman Jillian Aziz (Plaistow, N.H.) relieved and worked around a leadoff single in the bottom of the frame to wrap up the win.
Inside the Numbers (Game One):
* Miller allowed just two hits and a walk over her four innings. She struck out three an improved to 7-5 on the year.
* Eight of PSU's nine starters recorded base hits. Cushing led the way with a 3-for-4 effort, while Emerson, senior Ashley Deyo (Dover, N.H.) and Harris all had two hits.
* Cushing and Goss both had two RBI, while Morrill, Emerson, Harris, Landers, Butler and Hall each drove in a run.
* PSU's 11 runs and 13 hits were both the second highest outputs of the season.
How it Happened (Game Two):
* Castleton took a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the second. The Spartans opened the inning with a single and back-to-back doubles. It looked like the Panthers had the first out on a strikeout, but the ball got away and the runner reached safely and the next batter singled to make it 3-0.
* Miller came on in relief and retired the next three batters on infield popups to avoid further trouble.
* PSU came right back in the next half inning to tie the game. With one down Morrill reached on an infield hit and Emerson walked. After a strikeout, Harris blasted a three-run shot to right to square the game at 3-3.
* Castleton used a two-out rally and Panthers' error to pull back in front, 4-3, in the bottom of the fifth, but again the Panthers pulled even right away. Landers doubled to start the inning, Hall singled to move her to third and Morrill drove her in with a ground out. Emerson followed with a base hit up the middle, but Hall was cut down at the plate to end the inning.
* Landers singled to open the eighth and quickly moved to third after a bunt and wild pitch. Butler pinch hit and reached on a fielder's choice, while Landers beat the throw home to give Plymouth State a 5-4 lead.
* Castleton put the tying run on second in the bottom of the frame following a leadoff double, but Miller retired the next three batters, including two by strikeout, to close out the sweep.
Inside the Numbers (Game Two):
* Harris (homer, single) and Landers (single, double) both went 2-for-4, while Deyo finished 2-for-5. Morrill was on base three times (single, two walks) from the leadoff spot.
* With her three RBI, Harris takes over the team lead (15).
* Miller pitched seven full innings in relief, allowing just five hits and one unearned run while striking out two.
* The Panthers head back to Maine on Tuesday (Apr. 9) for a pair of non-conference games at the University of New England. First pitch for game one is set for 3:30 p.m.
* Castleton is also back in action on Tuesday (Apr. 9), traveling to Keene State for an LEC twin bill starting at 3:30 p.m.
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