The Middlebury softball team posted a 1-3 record last week to conclude its spring trip to Clermont, Florida. On Tuesday, the Panthers split two games, falling to Wellesley 5-4, before posting a 2-0 shutout against D’Youville. A day later, Middlebury closed out its spring trip on Wednesday, dropping a pair of 2-0 decisions to 10th-ranked University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and Loras.
On Tuesday, Wellesley jumped out to an early lead in the opening game of the day, plating an unearned run in the bottom of the second inning. Gen Brittingham led off with a single and crossed home plate on an infield error for a 1-0 lead.
The Panthers quickly responded, tying the game in the next half inning on back-to-back doubles. Senior Kati Daczkowski (Pittsburgh, Pa.) belted a one-out double to left field and scored on a two-base hit down the left-field line by sophomore Olivia Bravo (Falls Church, Va.).
The Blue reclaimed the lead in the bottom of the third, scoring a pair of runs to make it a 3-1 contest. Amanda Manning had an RBI double and later scored on a Panther miscue.
Middlebury got back to within a run at 3-2 in the fourth, when senior Ali Della Volpe (Concord, Mass.) raced home from third on a throwing error. An inning later, the Panthers scored twice on a two-run home run to left-center field by sophomore Melanie Mandell (Harrison, N.Y.) for their first lead of the game at 4-3.
Wellesley tied the game in the bottom of the sixth on an RBI single by Jessica Budz and won the contest with one out in the seventh. Amanda Kim scored the deciding run for the Blue on a wild pitch.
Daczkowski went 3-3 for the Panthers with a double and two runs scored, while Mandell went 2-4 with a homer and two RBI. Rookie Emily Morris (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) went the distance in the circle, allowing five runs (three earned) on seven hits with five strikeouts.
Seven different players recorded a hit for Wellesley, with Manning collected a double and an RBI. Sydney Hopper earned the win with 2.2 innings of scoreless relief, while starter Madeline Bianchi yielded four runs (three earned) in 4.1 innings of work.
In the triumph over D'Youville, Middlebury scored the only run it would need in the first inning when Mandell doubled to left and scored on a two-base hit by senior Allison Quigley (Wilmette, Ill.) to center field.
The Panthers plated the game’s other run in the bottom of the third, as Quigley got aboard with a one-out single and came around to score on a single by rookie Emily Moore (Oyster Bay, N.Y.).
That was all Quigley needed on the circle, tossing 5.1 scoreless innings, while Morris retired all five batters she faced for the save. The win was Quigley’s third of the season and the 33rd of her career, moving her into sole possession of second place on the program’s all-time wins list. Quigley also went 2-2 at the plate with a run scored and one RBI. Moore’s RBI single in the third extended her hitting streak to a season-opening eight games.
Brittaney Goodrich suffered the loss for the Spartans, throwing a complete game, while five different players collected hits at the plate.
Wednesday’s game with UW-Whitewater was scoreless through the first five innings, with the Panthers threating in the second. Junior Liza Tarr (Winnetka, Ill.) hit a one-out double, but Warhawk pitcher Julia Camardo retired the next two batters to get out of the jam.
UW-Whitewater broke the tie in the top of the sixth inning with two runs, starting with an RBI single by Mattie Klingenmeyer. Klingenmeyer later scored on a triple by Camardo for a 2-0 advantage.
The Panthers attempted to rally in the bottom of the seventh with a single by Tarr, followed by a two-out double by rookie Kaylee Gumm (Sequim, Wash.), putting runners on second and third. With the potential tying run at second, Camardo recorded the final out for the 2-0 final.
Tarr went 2-3 at the plate with a double for Middlebury, while Gumm also doubled. Junior Irene Margiotta (Mendham, N.J.) pitched five scoreless innings to start the game for the Panthers, scattering three hits. Morris suffered the loss, allowing two runs on four hits over the final two innings.
Camardo remained unbeaten on the season, improving to 4-0 with a five-hit shutout and 10 strikeouts. Megan Schweitzer picked up a pair of hits for the Warhawks.
In the second game of the day, Middlebury had a chance to strike first with a run in the top of the first. Bravo reached on an infield single and eventually made her way to third base with two outs. Following a walk to senior Taylor Gardner (Carlsbad, Calif.) and a wild pitch put two runners in scoring position, Duhawk pitcher Emily Reilly recorded the third out.
Loras countered in its initial at bat with a run, as Ashley Lentine and Shannon Coyle started the inning with back-to-back doubles to right center.
In the fifth inning, Loras seemed poised to build on its lead, but a key double play ended the threat. The Duhawks had the bases loaded and one out, but a squeeze-bunt attempt failed, as Morris caught the pop up and quickly threw to Bravo covering the bag at third to get out of the inning.
Loras did tack on an insurance run in the sixth when Melanie Gerbig singled home Bria Lenen for a 2-0 advantage.
Reilly retired the Panthers in order in the top of the seventh, finishing the game with a three-hit shutout with three strikeouts.
Mandell, Gardner and Della Volpe each had hits for Middlebury, while Morris was steady in the circle with a complete game. She gave up two runs on seven hits with five strikeouts.
• Softball record: 6-4
• Up Next: 4/4 at Plattsburgh State – 3:30 p.m. (DH), 4/6 at Amherst – 5:00 p.m., 4/7 at Amherst – 12:00 p.m. (DH)