Middlebury homered four times in a doubleheader at Castleton on Monday, but the Spartans pulled out a pair of one-run decisions against the Panthers. The hosts won the opener 5-4 and then posted an 11-10 triumph in the nightcap. Middlebury (12-14) returns home this weekend, kicking off a three-game NESCAC West series with Amherst on Friday at 5:00 p.m.
In game one, Castleton (13-16) opened the scoring in the bottom of the second inning, as Jamie Boyle lined a solo home run down the line in left field.
Middlebury used the long ball to jump into the lead a frame later when Melanie Mandell lofted a two-run shot to left-center field, scoring Emily Moore who singled a batter earlier. The homer was the 14th of Mandell's career, tying her atop the program's all-time list with Christina Freyer (01-04).
The Spartans quickly reclaimed the lead in the third with a pair of runs and pushed the margin to 5-2 in the fifth with two more runs.
The Panthers closed the gap to 5-4 in the top of the sixth, as Mandell was hit by a pitch and scored when Noelle Ruschil clubbed a two-run homer to left for the final tally.
Boyle paced Castleton at the plate, going 2-2 with three RBI and a homer, while Kylie Wright (8-7) went the distance in the circle for the victory.
In the game two, the visitors plated six runs in their initial at bat, starting with a two-run double by Liza Tarr. Sophia Marlino drove in a run with an infield single, while Tarr scored on an infield out for a 4-0 edge. Kaylee Gumm increased the cushion to 6-0, belting a two-run home run to left field.
Castleton cut the difference in half in the bottom of the frame when Calli Van Gorden hit a three-run homer, while a RBI single by Machaila Arjavich made it 6-4.
Middlebury tacked on four more runs in the second, with Marlino coming through with a key two-run home run to left.
The Spartans scored three times in the bottom of the second and added three more in the third, knotting the score at 10-10.
The hosts took their first lead of the game in the bottom of the fifth, as Tori Swaine doubled in Devin Millerick for an 11-10 advantage.
Middlebury had a chance to tie the game in the top of the seventh with Gumm reaching third base with two outs, but Wright closed the door for her second save of the year.
The Panthers pounded out 12 hits, as Moore, Mandell, Tarr, Marlino and Gumm each finished with two. Margiotta (9-9) yielded only one run in three innings of relief, but suffered the loss.
Millerick went 2-3 for the hosts and scored a game-high four runs, while Emily Harvey (1-1) tossed 4.1 innings in relief to earn the victory.