Softball Comes Back from Split Weekend as They Look to Face Amherst Mammoths

By MAX PADILLA

MICHAEL BORENSTEIN
Emily Moore ’21 has earned 32 runs and 35 hits in her career.

While the softball team did not quite live up to last week’s strong performance, the Panthers were able to capture two wins out of five games, splitting the series against Union College and defeating Hamilton in the last game. 

On Wednesday, April 17, the team played a double header against Union. They lost the first game 13-5 in only five innings but came back strong in the second game beating the Dutchmen 19-7 in six innings. In the second game, the players started out strong, making three runs in the first inning. With remarkable defense, Union was unable to score until the fourth inning. The Dutchmen, however, managed to pull ahead, bringing the game to 3-5 in the bottom of the fifth. Hungry for a win, the Panthers scored 16 runs in the top of the sixth. 

Despite this amazing feat against Union, the team followed it up with a two-game losing streak against Hamilton: 7-8 on Friday and 6-18 on Saturday. They came back on Saturday night against Hamilton, defeating them by a slim 6-4. Having fallen behind in the bottom of the second 1-3, they pulled ahead 6-3 with exciting runs in the top of the third, with Olivia Bravo ’20, Sophie Bolinger ’22, Emily Moore ’21, Melanie Mandell ’20 and Liza Tarr ’19 each scoring runs. The Continentals were unable to bridge the gap and lost the third game in the series.

On Monday, April 22, Middlebury matched up against Castleton and fell to the Spartans in both games. Although incredibly close, they were beat out by one run in both games; 5-4 in the first and 11-10 in the second. Despite the loss, the Panthers achieved notable feats. Mandell, Noelle Ruschil ’22, Sophia Marlino ’22, and Kaylee Gumm ’21 all scored home runs. Ruschil and Mandell both added to their collection of completed home runs against Union and Hamilton, respectively, in the past week.

 The Panthers have an incredibly young team; ten of their 16 players are underclassmen (six first-years and four sophomores). In addition, the Panthers have played fewer games (and therefore far fewer series) than the teams they compete against. Hamilton, in addition to having a really solid season, has played 33 games (25-8); Castleton has played 29 (13-16), which can be compared to to Middlebury’s 26 (12-14). 

The Panthers will play their final series against Amherst this weekend, and the match is expected to be close given Middlebury has not beaten the Mammoths since 2016. With the ups and downs, these last three games will be critical for a successful end to their season.

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