Softball Team Takes Two of Three from Williams, Improves to 20-9


The team gathers for a huddle during their weekend three-game series against Williams.

By Alex Morris


Middlebury continued its impressive streak with a string of wins consisting of a double header against Plymouth on Wednesday, April 17 and a series win against Williams on Friday and Saturday April 19-20. Middlebury was unable to build off a strong showing against Williams, falling 2-0 in their double header against Keene State on Tuesday, April 23.

The Panthers started with a 4-2 win over Plymouth. They scored two quick runs in the first inning as Jessica Poracky ’13 plated two runners. Jackie Stern ’16 also got on the scoreboard, driven in by Christina Bicks’s ’15 triple to left-center. Middlebury finished scoring after Poracky singled before being pushed home over a double from Emily Kraytenberg ’14.

Plymouth were unable to get a run off pitcher Alex Lesenskyj ’14 until the fifth inning after a homer from Calli DeGrace earned Plymouth two runs. Lesenskyj tossed seven innings, scattered six hits, allowed two earned runs and struck out three.

Poracky finished 2-3 with a double and two RBIs, while Kraytenberg with a double and Bicks with a triple each added an RBI.

Middlebury picked up where they left off in the second game, putting four runs on the board in the first inning. With the bases loaded, Kraytenberg delivered an infield single for an RBI. Carlyn Vachow ’16 followed with a two-RBI double down the left field line. A fielding error allowed Kraytenberg to score from third for the fourth run of the inning. Plymouth brought home its only run of the game off an RBI single from Cynthia Barata.

After Plymouth pulled off a rare triple play, the hosts added their final run in the sixth as Kimber Sable ’14 slammed an RBI double to center, scoring Bicks. Sable finished 3-3 with a pair of singles and an RBI double while Kraytenberg went 2-2 with a triple and an RBI with two runs scored. Kat Maehr ’16 went 4.2 innings allowing one earned run and striking out three as Neve Stearns ’16 picked up her first career save, tossing 2.1 innings and striking out two.

The Panthers started their series against Williams with a 3-0 win on Friday, April 19. With a runner on second in the bottom of the first, Jessa Hoffman ’13 hit a one-out RBI double to the gap in left field. Middlebury added two insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth. Stern earned a walk before moving to second on a put-out and to third on a wild pitch. Poracky followed with an RBI single to drive in Stern. Poracky was pulled for pinch-runner Kelsey Martel ’15 who moved to second on a wild pitch and later scored on a throwing error.

Five Panthers had hits in the game, led by Hoffman’s RBI double. Elizabeth Morris ’14 pitched the whole game, allowing six hits over seven scoreless innings and struck out four.

Middlebury wasn’t able to continue its 14-game winning streak, falling in the first game of the Saturday doubleheader. The Ephs scored three runs unanswered in the first four innings. In the fifth, the Panthers were able to get a run back as Poracky hit a sacrifice fly to right with the bases loaded. Williams added its final run in the top of the seventh after Kacy Cramer doubled in Ali Graebner.

Vachow’s double highlighted the four hits for the Panthers while Lesenskyj went four innings, allowing three runs and one strike before Stearns pitched the final three innings in relief, striking out one and allowing one earned run.

The Panthers were able to reverse their fortunes in the second game with a 10-2 win. In particularly spectacular fashion, the Panthers scored four runs in the second, with Hoffman recording her school-record 176th hit – a two-RBI single – to make it a 5-0 game. Adding a run in the third and fourth, Morris rested on a 7-0 lead, allowing a pair of runs in the sixth and two runs scored.

Middlebury ended the game in the sixth, scoring three in the frame. After Sable opened with a single while Hoffman hit a one-out single, both were brought in by RBI singles, one from Poracky and the other from Kraytenberg. With the bases loaded, Sarah Boylan ’13 hit an RBI single to bring in the final run of the game.

Hoffman finished her historic game with two hits and two RBI, while Sable went 3-3 with a triple and three runs scored. Morris went six innings, striking out three and allowing two earned.
Middlebury returns to action against Wesleyan on Friday, April 26 to determine its place in the NESCAC Tournament.

“This is a great opportunity for us,” said head coach Kelly Bevere. “We’ve worked with a theme of improving each game all year and now we are in a position where we control our own destiny. It’s important to just stay the course and go out there and do what we’ve been doing all season long.”

In Tuesday’s double header against Keene State, the Panthers opened up the scoring in the top of the first as a double to right field from Poracky allowed Vachow to score. They added to their score after Hoffman hit a homer to center field, bringing in Vachow from second base. Middlebury then lost grip on their lead, giving up four Keene State runs on three hits in the bottom of the third.
Vachow finished 1-2 while Hoffman went 1-3 with two RBIs. Lesenskyj took the loss for Middlebury, allowing seven hits and four runs.

The nightcap was also a low-scoring affair, as Middlebury was unable to get on the board. The Panther batswomen were unable to connect with Owls pitcher Katie Newell, who only gave up one hit in the entire game while striking out fives.

In the bottom of the third, Keene State was first able to score through an error in the field, before a single RBI from Sara Bracken brought in Anna Glassman for the final run of the game.
Kraytenberg went 1-2 while pitcher Stearns allowed five hits and two runs scored.