Middlebury picked up an 11-10 victory over visiting Norwich Monday in the opening game of a doubleheader, while the second game was called due to darkness in the bottom of the sixth inning with the teams deadlocked at 9-9. The Panthers (13-8-1) are right back in action tomorrow, hosting Johnson State for a twin bill at 3:30 p.m., while the Cadets (5-14-1) face Anna Maria for two games.
The hosts took advantage of two Cadet miscues in the bottom of the first inning, as Ali Della Volpe and Kati Daczkowski each scored on errors. Melanie Mandell made it 3-0, racing home on a wild pitch.
Middlebury added four more runs in the bottom of second with the first coming on a two-run double to left field by Mandell. Following a run on an error, Erin Giles made it a 7-0 score with a RBI single.
The Cadets came back with a big inning in the third, scoring eight times to take the lead. Norwich's outburst was aided by four Panthers errors, while Naomi Rinaldo provided the key hit with a two-run homer.
In the last of the sixth, the Panthers plated two key insurance runs for an 11-8 lead. Mandell led off the inning with a triple and raced home on a wild pitch, while Siobhan O'Sullivan hit a sacrifice fly to left.
Norwich responded in the top of the seventh with a lead-off double by Rinaldo, who later scored on a RBI double by Makenna Wade. The Cadets closed made the score 11-10 on a sacrifice fly to center by Katie Reid, but Panther pitcher Irene Margiotta ended the game with a strike out and the tying run on third base.
Mandell went 2-3 with two RBI and three runs scored to lead the Panthers, while Freyre was 1-1 with the homer and walked three times. Margiotta (5-3) earned the win with the complete game, allowing 10 runs (six earned) with seven strikeouts.
For Norwich, Rinaldo went 3-4 with two runs scored and two RBI, while Wade was 2-4 with a double. Rachel Johnson (4-5) took the loss in the circle, giving up 11 runs on nine hits.
In game two, the Cadets jumped out to the early lead with two runs in the top of the first. Emily Oliver singed through the left side to plate Justina George, while Wade made it 2-0 with a sacrifice fly to center.
Middlebury tied the game in its half of the inning, as Della Volpe led off the frame with a double just inside the bag at third. She later scored on a ground out by Freyre, while Bravo tied the game with a RBI single to left field.
Norwich struck for another two runs in the second inning for a 4-2 lead, but the Panthers batted around in their half of the second, plating four runs, taking a 6-4 lead. O'Sullivan made it 4-3 with a run-scoring triple and tied the game when she scored on a wild pitch. Mandell delivered a RBI single to put the hosts in front 5-4, while Freyre singled up the middle for to drive in another run.
The Cadets produced a five-run inning in the fifth, reclaiming the lead, 9-6. Reid and Miller each produced RBI singles to tie the game at 6-6. Sarah Peyton hit a sacrifice fly to right field for a 7-6 edge, while Rinaldo singled up the middle for two more runs and a three-run lead.
Middlebury tied the score with three runs in the bottom of the sixth, but the game was called with the teams knotted at 9-9. Bravo closed the Panthers to 9-8 on a two-run single, while Margiotta tied the game with a single to right to bring home Freyre. Margiotta proved to be the final batter of the contest as darkness set in with nobody out in the inning.
Bravo finished a perfect 3-3 with three RBI at the plate for the Panthers, while Della Volpe went 2-3 with a double and two runs scored. Taylor Gardner tossed 4.1 innings for the Panthers and fanned four, while Margiotta pitched 1.2 innings of relief.
Rinaldo had another solid game at the plate for the Cadets, going 3-3 with three RBI and a run scored. Oliver pitched a complete game, throwing five innings.