The Panther softball team opened up its spring season with 10 games in Florida during the spring break. Middlebury opened the trip at 5-3 before a pair of losses to Bowdoin and Colby to end the trip.
Middlebury opened the season with a 3-2 win over Union. Middlebury trailed 2-0 before scoring one in the fifth and two in the sixth to take the 3-2 lead. Senior Megan McCarthy (Winter Springs, Fla.) had two hits in the game, while also earning the win with four strikeouts. Junior Lauren Battaglia (Framingham, Mass.) and sophomore Maura Casey (Garden City, N.Y.) also both had a pair of hits in the win.
Middlebury fell to Babson 8-4 in eight innings in game two of the day. Middlebury tied the game with a pair of runs in the seventh, but gave up eight runs to the Beavers in the extra inning. First-year player Christine Grimaldi (Westport, Conn.) had two hits and an RBI for the Panthers, while sophomore Jennifer Williams (Scarborough, Maine) suffered the loss.
Sophomore Colleen Sullivan (Concord, Mass.) singled in junior Kathryn Hurd (Fairfield, Conn.) in the fourth inning to lead Middlebury to a 1-0 win over Lawrence. McCarthy earned the win with eight strikeouts for the three-hit shutout.
Wisconsin-Whitewater scored two runs in the bottom of the seventh to defeat Middlebury 5-3 in game two of the day. Sullivan had two hits on the day, while Casey had a double. First-year pitcher Brittany Burke (Medfield, Mass.) took the loss.
Middlebury scored three runs in the third inning on its way to a 4-1 win over Plymouth State. McCarthy struck out 10 and allowed four hits and no earned runs in the game. Four different players scored for the Panthers, as they plated three unearned runs on the afternoon. Grimaldi had the lone extra base hit with a double.
Trinity scored a pair of turns to take a 3-0 lead in the fifth inning, on its way to the win. Casey had a single and a double to lead the Middlebury offense, while Hurd added a double. Williams took the loss, striking out six Bantams.
Battaglia singled in first-year player Katelyn Cannella (Pleasantville, N.Y.) in the bottom of the ninth to give Middlebury a 2-1 win over Bethel. Middlebury trailed by a run in the eighth before a sac fly by senior Lauren Guza (LaCanada, Calif.) plated Sullivan to tie the game at one. Guza had two hits in the game to lead the offense. McCarthy threw all nine innings, striking out 15 batters, while allowing five hits and an unearned run.
The Panthers exploded for eight runs later that day as they defeated Edgewood 8-2. Middlebury scored three runs in the first and three runs in the seventh to earn the win. Sullivan went 3-4 with two RBI, Grimaldi was 2-3 with two runs and two RBI, while McCarthy had a pair of hits. Battaglia ended the day 1-4 with three runs and two RBI, while Burke picked up the win with seven innings of work.
Bowdoin doubled in a run in the third inning, but that's all they'd need as they picked up a 1-0 win over Middlebury. Hurd and Sullivan had hits for Middlebury, as McCarthy took the loss with five K's in six innings.
The road trip ended with a 4-0 loss to Colby. The Mules scored four runs in the last three innings of the game to earn the victory. Three different players singled for Middlebury, as Williams took the loss.
Sullivan led Middlebury on the trip, hitting .257 with 10 hits and four RBI. McCarthy went 4-1 with a 0.75 ERA and 43 strikeouts in 37 innings.