Softball Gets Into NESCAC Win Column, Enters Crucial Series with Williams

By LAUREN BOYD

The Middlebury softball team swept a doubleheader last Friday, April 13, against Hamilton in a Nescac battle, as both games got called after the fifth inning by the mercy rule.

With the wins over Hamilton, the Panthers are back in the hunt for a conference tournament spot.
“Winning these two games against Hamilton was really important for our Nescac play,” senior Kati Daczkowski ’18 said. “Any time we get to compete against another Nescac team, it’s always intense.”

During the first game of the series, Middlebury blanked Hamilton 8–0.

In the first inning, Middlebury got three runners across the plate to take an early 3–0 lead, as a handful of players had a hand in the action.
Two Panthers were on base when senior captain Allison Quigley ’18’s double sent them home; after the initial two runs scored, a sacrifice fly by Kaylee Gumm ’21 finished off first-inning scoring.

“Our offense really proved strong against Hamilton. We were able to load the bases and get the hits to send them home. It was a total-team effort,” Daczkowski added.

The total-team effort continued into the second inning.

An Olivia Bravo ’20 triple and a sacrifice fly by Daczkowski put another two runs on the board for Middlebury. By the end of the second, the Panthers were up five against their competitor.

By the time the game reached the bottom of the fifth, the Panthers still led 5–0 and had Hamilton on the hook for a slaughter-rule finish.
Emily Morris ’21 took advantage of a wild pitch by stealing home to put Middlebury up 6–0. Another two Middlebury scores ended the game for Hamilton, as the Panthers won by an eight-run scoring rule.

Going into the second game of the double header, the Panthers used their confidence both in the field and in the batter’s box to come out with a second eight-run mercy rule finish, this time winning 10–2.

Unlike the first game of the doubleheader, Hamilton started off the scoring in the second game.

But Hamilton’s lead did not last for long, as the Panthers retook the lead in the second.

Melanie Mandell ’20 was driven in by a Kaylee Gumm d’19 double to put the Panthers on the board.

A string of Middlebury hits and runs scored made the score 5–1 in the third inning. By the end of the fourth, the Panthers added enough runs to be up by nine, 10–1. Even though Hamilton scored on a Middlebury error in the top of the fifth, the 10–2 finish was enough for the Continentals to plead mercy.

The Panthers have yet to play their third game against Hamilton, as the third game in the series was postponed due to weather. Next, the Panthers will look to beat another Nescac powerhouse, the Williams Ephs, on Friday, April 20, and Saturday, April 21.

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Softball Gets Into NESCAC Win Column, Enters Crucial Series with Williams