Softball Looks to Put Amherst Sweep Behind Them Host Hamilton for a Momentum Turning Series

Susan Quigley

Susan Quigley

By LAUREN BOYD

Following a hard-fought, 4–3, midweek victory over Plattsburgh, the softball team took to the road to take on No. 17 Amherst (17–2, 5–0) for a three-game set last weekend.

The Panthers fell to the Mammoths on Saturday, April 7, by a final score of 9–4, and dropped both games of their doubleheader on Sunday, April 8, by scores of 3–0 and 7–2. After getting swept on the road, the Panthers stand at .500, 7–7, as they enter the heart of their schedule.

Though the Panthers had solid offensive and defensive efforts, the Mammoths’ pitching, led by 12.2 innings of Lorena Ukanwa and her 10–0 record, kept the Panthers from doing any meaningful damage.

Senior captain Kati Daczkowski ’18 hopes to look forward from the losses and work on facing the next competition, especially in Nescac play.

“We have to keep moving forward and improving our play,” Daczkowski said, “We’re looking forward to this week and new competition.”

The highlight of the week, and potentially the season so far, was the Panthers’ effort against Plattsburgh. On the road at Cardinal Park, on a cold Wednesday, April 4, afternoon, the Panthers used a total-team effort to come from behind and beat Plattsburgh.

The Middlebury captains’ preseason hope to use their small size to their advantage was validated, as every player had a hand in the victory against the Cardinals.

Emily Morris ’21 pitched a great game for the Panthers. On the mound, she recorded seven timely strikeouts to highlight a strong performance. Plattsburgh was only able to get four hits off of her.

The offensive side of the Panthers put in an all-team effort and a strong start. Early in the first inning, after an Allison Quigley ’18 single moved Olivia Bravo ’20 and Melanie Mandell ’20 to second and third, respectively, Taylor Gardner ’18 came up with the bases loaded. Gardner grounded into a would-be fielder’s choice, but an error by the Cardinals’ pitcher allowed her to reach safely as Bravo crossed the plate. With the bases still loaded, Lisa Tarr ’19 stepped up to the plate and struck out. However, a passed ball allowed Tarr to reach safely, and Mandell crossed the plate for the second run on an error in as many batters for the Panthers.
Heading into the fifth, the Panthers trailed the Cardinals 3–2 when, luckily for Middlebury, Bravo continued her stellar day, sending a two-out triple to center. Mandell then came up and hit what seemed to be an inning-ending grounder to the pitcher. However, for the second time in the game an error by the Cardinals’ pitcher extended the inning. A throwing error to first allowed Bravo to score and Mandell to reach base safety.

If things were not already wacky and exciting enough, the Panthers took back the lead in the sixth on a Plattsburgh wild pitch, which allowed Gardner to score what would be the game’s decisive run as the Panthers came out victorious, 4–3.

After some weather-pending midweek action — a doubleheader against Castleton — the Panthers are set to host Hamilton tomorrow evening at 5 p.m. for the first game of an important three-game set, with a doubleheader scheduled to start at noon on Saturday.

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Softball Looks to Put Amherst Sweep Behind Them Host Hamilton for a Momentum Turning Series