Middlebury took one of two non-league games against Union on Wednesday, winning game one 1-0, while dropping the night cap 10-6. With the spilt, the Dutchwomen (17-7) hold a 10-2 lead all-time against the Panthers (16-9). Middlebury returns to action at home with a double-header Castleton on Saturday afternoon, while Union hosts a pair of games against New Paltz.
In the top of the first of game one, with the bases loaded and two outs, Panther shortstop Jessa Hoffman robbed Erika Hillenbrand of a sure two-run single on a diving stop up the middle. Hoffman made a quick toss to second for the force out, ending the inning.
In the bottom of the second, Jessica Poracky led off with a crisp single to left field. She advanced to second on a wild pitch before Emily Burbridge plated her with an RBI double down the left field line for a 1-0 lead.
Union had runners on third base in both the third and fifth innings with two outs, but Panther starting pitcher Ali McAnaney got out of trouble both times. Middlebury failed to add any insurance runs, including stranding Poracky after a one-out double in the sixth. McAnaney (7-3) sent the Dutchwomen down in order in the seventh for the complete game shut-out win. Union's Tiffany Ippoliti (8-3) took the loss, allowing the one earned run in the second inning, as she pitched 5.1 innings, relieved by Ginni Sack in the sixth. Teammate Lauren Hoffman went 2/4 with a stolen base to lead Union from the plate. Middlebury collected four hits in game one, as Poracky was 2/4 with a double and a run scored.
In game two, the teams combined to score sixteen runs on 19 hits. Union broke open a scoreless game in the second with a five-run barrage, chasing Middlebury's Sarah Boylan from the circle. Boylan, making her pitching debut for Middlebury, sent the Dutchwomen down in order in the first inning before giving up five earned runs in the second. Leading 1-0 with one out, Union connected with back-to-back doubles by Allie Sirrine and Becky Gronczniak to plate three more runs. Gronczniak ended up scoring on a wild pitch by reliever Emma Katz for the 5-0 cushion.
Leading 6-1 in the top of the fourth, Union added three more runs on a two-out rally, including a two RBI single by Ashley Kovack for a 9-1 lead. The Panthers responded in the bottom of the frame, scoring four runs. With runners on second and third, Katz lined a single up the middle for two RBI. Katz worked her way to third before Burbridge plated her with an RBI bunt single. With two outs and Burbridge on third, Hoffman knocked her in with an RBI single, cutting the Union lead to 9-5.
Trailing 10-5 in the bottom of the seventh, Hoffman started the final at bats for Middlebury with a single up the middle. With two away and Hoffman on second, Poracky plated her with an RBI single into center. With two on, Ippoliti, who relieved Sack in the fifth, enticed Katz into a fielder's choice, ending the game.
Nina Cervini went 3/4 with a double, while Alexandra King went 2/3 to lead Union. Sack improved to 9-4, while Ippoliti earned her first save. Hoffman paced the Panthers with a 3/4 day with an RBI and a stolen base as Katz added a pair of RBI. Boylan started the game for Middlebury, was relieved after 1.1 innings, reentered the circle from third base in the fifth, gave up six runs, five earned over 4.1 innings and took her first career loss. Emma Katz, also facing her first batters as a Panther hurler, allowed four earned runs over 2.2 innings of work.