The Middlebury softball team picked up its first victories of the season on Saturday during its spring break trip to Clermont, Florida. The Panthers (2-2) opened with a 3-0 shutout over SUNY New Paltz (2-9) before recording an 11-2 victory over Buffalo State (4-12) in five innings. Middlebury returns to action on Sunday with games against Thomas (Maine) at 9:00 a.m. and Wellesley at 11:30 a.m.
The morning's game against New Paltz remained scoreless through four innings. The Panthers got on the board in the top of the fifth with a pair of runs. Olivia Bravo singled to right field, scoring Siobhan O'Sullivan, who pinch ran after a double off the bat of Sarah Freyre to start the inning. Bravo moved to second on a bunt and to third on a fielder's choice, making it 2-0 on an RBI single by Melanie Mandell.
The Panthers increased their lead to 3-0 in the top of the sixth. Marybeth Stone singled to left center, racing all the way around to score on a triple off the bat of Bravo.
Allison Quigley (1-1) tossed the complete-game shutout victory in the circle for the Panthers, allowing just three hits with six strikeouts. Mandell finished 3-4 with an RBI, while Bravo was 2-3 with a triple, two RBI and a run scored.
Lauren Capello went the distance for the Hawks, allowing three runs on 10 hits with a pair of strikeouts. Nicole DeCosta went 2-3 at the plate.
In the second game against Buffalo State, the Bengals tallied a single run in the top of the first. The Panthers responded with a pair of runs in the home half of the frame on an RBI groundout by Taylor Gardner and an infield run-scoring single from Freyre. Buffalo State tied the contest at 2-2 in the top of the second when Danielle Szymkowiak tripled home Melissa Woods, who reached on a fielder's choice.
In the bottom of the second, Middlebury exploded for six runs on four hits and a pair of walks. Hye-Jin Kim walked to start the inning, coming around to score on a single through the right side by Kati Daczkowski. Mandell ripped a double to left center, scoring Daczkowski. Gardner followed with an RBI single to left, while Stone capped the outburst with a two-run double to right center, plating Freyre and Gardner.
The Panthers tacked on three in the fourth when Kim tripled down the left-field line, driving in Gardner and Freyre, who both singled. Irene Margiotta provided the final Panther run of the contest on a base hit to center field, bringing Kim home for the final 11-2 score.
Margiotta (1-1) went the distance in the circle for the Panthers, allowing two runs on three hits with five strikeouts and three walks. Mandell was 2-3 with two doubles, two runs scored and an RBI, while Gardner went 2-3 with two RBI and a pair of runs. Freyre had a 2-2 game at the plate with a walk, two runs scored and an RBI.
Szymkowiak was 1-3 with a triple and RBI, while O'Hern went 1-2 with a run knocked in. Laura Crooks had the third hit for the Bengals. Nicole Adams was saddled with the loss, pitching the first 1.2 innings, allowing eight runs on six hits with four walks. Scarlett Whitman tossed 2.1 innings of relief, surrendering three runs on five hits with two strikeouts.