Middlebury opened the 2017 season with a pair of games in Florida on Friday, falling to Plymouth State 3-1 in the first contest and 3-0 to Benedictine (Ill.) in the second. The Panthers (0-2) are back in action on Saturday, facing SUNY New Paltz at 9:00 a.m. and Buffalo State at 11:30 a.m. Plymouth State ends its spring break with an 8-6 record, while Benedictine is 5-5.
In the opener versus Plymouth State, the Panthers from New Hampshire plated two unearned runs in the bottom of the second inning. Haley Birch drove in the first with a sacrifice bunt, while Emma Rhodes made it 2-0 with a run-scoring single.
Plymouth State got the run right back in the bottom half of the frame when Rhodes produced her second RBI single of the contest.
Caitlyn Miller retired Middlebury in order in the seventh, improving to 4-0 on the season with the complete game. Irene Margiotta (0-1) went the distance in the circle for Middlebury, allowing just one earned run on four hits.
In the second game of the day, the Eagles scored an unearned run in the bottom of the first inning on a single by Holly Haberkorn.
Melanie Mandell produced a two-out double for the Panthers in the top of the second, but Benedictine was able to keep the score at 1-0.
The Eagles increased the lead to 2-0 in the bottom of the fourth when pinch runner Liz Jimenez scored on a base hit, while a second run crossed the plate on a throw trying to get the batter advancing to second base for a 3-0 advantage.
Mandell doubled again in the top of the seventh, but was stranded on second for the game's final out.
Pitcher Allison Quigley had a strong debut for the Panthers, allowing three runs (two earned) over six innings on five hits. She also struck out three.
Haberkorn tossed the shutout, allowing five hits with five strikeouts and no walks.