The Middlebury softball team split a pair of games at Union on Wednesday afternoon. The Panthers (11-10) fell 13-5 in five inning during game one, before exploding for 19 runs in a 19-7 victory during a six-inning nightcap. Middlebury returns to action on Friday with a NESCAC West league game at Hamilton (5:00 p.m.).
Union answered with three runs in the bottom half of the inning, but the Panthers came back with a pair in the third. Sophie Bolinger singled up the middle and scored on a triple to right field by Melanie Mandell, who crossed the plate on a wild pitch.
The Dutchwomen answered with a six-run third inning, taking a 9-5 lead. Kim Puzo and Bailey Kross each hit RBI doubles before a walk with the bases loaded. Dana Dolinko later singled through the left side to plate a pair before a run scored on a wild pitch.
Union added a run in the fourth and three more in the fifth to end the game in five innings on a walk-off single by Kelsey Hartsoe.
Irene Margiotta (8-6) suffered the loss, tossing three innings. Ruschil went 2-3 with a double and two RBI in the game, while Bolinger was 1-2 with two runs scored.
Makayla Koehler (4-4) earned the win, giving up five runs on six hits over five innings. Hartsoe paced the Union hitters by going 3-3 with three RBI, Julia Boule was 2-3 with three runs scored, while Puzo had a 2-3 game with a double, three RBI and two runs scored.
In the nightcap, the Panthers again scored three times in the first inning. Mandell doubled to center to drive in two runs, while Sophia Marlino hit an RBI single through the right side.
Union put two runs on the board in the fourth inning to make it a one-run game. Stuart Buxton drove in a run with a single to left, while Dolinko earned an RBI on a sacrifice fly.
The Dutchwomen took a 5-3 lead in the fifth inning with three runs on three RBI hits.
Middlebury exploded for 16 runs on 12 hits with 21 batters stepping to the plate, as it they blew the game wide open in the sixth inning. Liza Tarr drove in two runs with a single to center, while Jen McGann had an RBI double to left center and Olivia Bravo plated on a run a base hit to left. Ruschil plated a pair with a single up the middle and Marlino earned an RBI hit, before Tarr cleared the bases with a double to left center. Ally Doll drove in Tarr, while Bravo earned another RBI with a base hit to right center. When the dust settled, the Panthers held a 19-5 lead.
Union scratched across a pair of runs on the bottom of the inning for a 19-7 final.
Caroline Thacker (1-2) picked up her first career win with six innings of work. Marlino went 3-5 with three RBI and two runs scored, while Mandel was 2-3 with two double and three RBI. Bravo finished the game 2-4 with three runs scored and two RBI, while Tarr crossed the plate twice and was 2-4 with a double and five RBI. Moore had a 2-4 game and scored three times, while Ruschil went 2-5, scoring twice, while driving in three runs. McGann scored twice and went 2-4 at the plate.
Koehler led Union at the plate, going 3-3 with a double, while Kross homered. Catie Raeter (6-2) suffered the loss.