Softball Opens Home Slate With Wins Over Castleton

Emily Moore went 5-7 with a two doubles, a homer, three runs scored and seven RBI in the two wins.
Emily Moore went 5-7 with a two doubles, a homer, three runs scored and seven RBI in the two wins.

Middlebury picked up a pair of wins over Castleton (1-11) in the team's home-opening games. The Panthers were victorious 10-2 in five innings during game one, before taking the second contest by an 8-1 score. Middlebury (9-7) returns to action on Friday when it hosts Hamilton in game one of a NESCAC West series at 5:00 p.m. The Spartans will visit Johnson State on Thursday.

The Panthers struck for five runs in the first inning of game one. Olivia Bravo led off with a walk and moved to second on a single to left by Kati Daczkowski. Emily Moore walked to load the bases, before Kaylee Gumm's double down the left-field line drove in all three runners. Two outs later, Melanie Mandell belted a two-run homer off the scoreboard in right center for a 5-0 Middlebury lead.

The home team added four runs in the fourth inning, increasing its advantage to 9-0. Mandell singled to right center, Taylor Gardner walked and Ali Della Volpe reached on a bunt to load the bases. Bravo followed with a single down the left-field line to drive in the first run of the inning. Daczkowski plated two more when she reached on a single up the middle. Moore drove in the final run of the inning with a double down the right-field line to drive in Daczkowski.

Castleton got on the board in the fifth with a pair of runs, making it a 9-2 game. Needing just one run to end the contest in the fifth, Gardner singled to left with one out to start the rally. Della Volpe walked and Bravo reached on an infield single to load the bases. One batter later, Moore singled to right, driving in Della Volpe with the game's final run.

Emily Morris (4-5) picked up the win, allowing two runs on two hits over five innings with 12 strikeouts. Daczkowski went 3-4 with two RBI, while Mandell went 2-3 with two runs scored, two RBI and a home run. Bravo finished the game 2-3 with two runs, while Moore was 2-3 with two RBI.

Rachael McCormick (0-4) took the loss for Castleton, giving up 10 runs on 12 hits over 4.2 innings of work.

Castleton jumped on the board in the opening inning of game two when Calli Van Gorden doubled to left center to drive in Timi Carone, who led off the game with a double to left center.

Middlebury answered in the bottom of the inning with four runs on four hits. Bravo reached on an error and moved to third on a double to right center from Daczkowski. Moore followed with a double to right center to drive in both runs for a 2-1 lead. Three batters later, Mandell knocked a base hit down the right-field line to drive in Allison Quigley, who singled, and Liza Tarr, who had walked.

Middlebury added to its lead in the second inning with three more runs. Bravo led off with a walk and moved to second when Daczkowski reached on a fielder's choice. Moore followed with a three-run blast to left center to put her team up 7-1.

The Panthers scored the game's final run in the fifth on an RBI double to left center by Bravo, driving in Gardner, who had singled to right.

Quigley moved to 4-1 on the year with the win, allowing one run and five hits over seven innings with eight strikeouts. Moore went 3-4 at the plate with a homer, five RBI and two runs scored. Quigley helped earn own cause with a 2-4 game, while Gardner was 2-3.

Loretta Blakeney (0-1) took the loss, giving up seven runs on five hits in one inning of work. Taylor Paquette tossed four innings of one-run relief for the Spartans.