Softball Wins Tight Road Series at Hamilton

By Kelsey Hoekstra

The Middlebury Panthers displayed incredible toughness this weekend by outlasting Hamilton to win the series 2-1. The weather played a factor – a common theme for the softball team this season – as the first game had to be moved to Saturday at Hamilton to accommodate Friday’s storm. In the first game, Carlyn Vachow ’16 scored the first run after stealing second and being sent in by hits from Hye-Jin Kim ’17 and Erin Giles ’17. Hamilton charged back to tie the game in the third inning, but the Panthers regained the lead in the fourth off of a double by Kat Maehr ’16, followed by a two-run homerun from Sarah Freyre ’17. The Panthers widened that lead when Hamilton committed three errors in the fifth. Maehr and Freyre drove in another run each, followed by a double off the bat of Vachow with the bases loaded to drive in three runs. The Continentals could not shorten the lead and the game ended after the fifth inning with a final score of 9-1. Allison Quigley ’18 recorded another win, improving her record to 8-2.

Unfortunately, the Panthers were not able to ride the momentum of their first victory and fell in the second game, 6-3. They got off to an early lead when Siobhan O’Sullivan ’17 started with a double and was brought in by Maehr. In the fourth inning, the Panthers widened that lead when Vachow singled, stole second base and scored on a double by Kim. The Continentals hit their stride in the fifth inning, scoring their runs with the assistance of three errors. Daphne Assimakopoulos of Hamilton started the scoring streak with a home run, followed by a few walks that set up a run-scoring double. Quigley came in to relieve Middlebury pitcher Neve Stearns ’16, but walked three batters and hit one. At the end of the inning the damage totaled all six runs that the Continentals would score that day. The Panthers tried to cut into that lead when Kelsey Martel ’15 doubled and her pinch runner Ali Delle Volpe ’18 later scored, but that was not enough to overcome the deficit. Stearns recorded the loss and fell to a 4-2 record after the game.

The final game of the series turned into a pitcher’s duel, lasting 10 innings Hamilton. Quigley threw 10 scoreless innings to come out on top, striking out 12 batters on the way. Jackie Stearn ’16 scored the game’s only run in the top of the 10th inning. She moved from second to third on a bunt by O’Sullivan then scored on a single by Maehr. Hamilton fought valiantly, but left two runners on base during each of the extra innings.

Captain Christina Bicks ’15 spoke proudly of her team after the series.

“We had two great team wins this weekend against Hamilton,” Bicks said. “Everyone contributed throughout the weekend and it paid off in a dramatic 10th inning win on Sunday. These were important games as we prepare for Amherst whom we will host for our senior weekend this coming Friday and Saturday.”

The Panthers continue their packed schedule, as they look to make up some of their rescheduled games this week. They have a three-game home series against Amherst this Friday and Saturday, April 17 and 18. Middlebury closes out the weekend with a rescheduled home game against Williams on Sunday, April 19.

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