Stellar Pitching Leads Softball to 5-0, 4-2 Wins Over Daniel Webster

Stellar Pitching Leads Softball to 5-0, 4-2 Wins Over Daniel Webster

BENNINGTON, Vt. — Southern Vermont College allowed a total of four hits in a Sunday sweep of Daniel Webster College, taking down the Eagles 5-0 and 4-2 in New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) softball action at Willow Park.

SVC senior righty Emily Fleming (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.) first tossed a one-hit complete-game shutout in the opener, striking out a career-high 14 batters in the win. Classmate Hayley McDonald (Latham, N.Y.) followed with her first win of the season from the circle, striking out 10 Eagles while only giving up three hits.

The Mountaineers (5-8, 3-5 NECC) next visit Becker College on Tuesday for an NECC twin bill starting at 3 p.m. while DWC looks ahead to its Tuesday non-conference doubleheader at Rivier University (4 p.m.).

GAME 1: Southern Vermont 5, Daniel Webster 0
After taking a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second, SVC held on to its tight advantage through most of the game before giving Fleming some support with four in the sixth. The senior right-hander moves to 3-5 on the year from the rubber after allowing just the lone base runner in the top of the second.

SVC senior center fielder Erika Garay (Walnut, Calif.) went 3-4 out of the lead-off spot, adding a run scored and a stolen base to her line. Junior second baseman Rachel Robtoy (Baltic, Conn.) followed with a 2-4 showing while knocking in a run and scoring another, and senior third baseman Brianne Nichols (Albany, N.Y.) was 2-4 with a run scored in the win.

Daniel Webster senior right-handed starter Sarah Durocher (Keene, N.H.) was the only Eagle to get aboard in the game, ripping a lead-off single through the left side in the second to finish 1-3 in the opener. She allowed just two earned runs in her six innings on the rubber, striking out six in the effort (3-7).

Neither team scored in the first before Durocher got on to start the second; Fleming then recorded the next three outs on waving third strikes to get her team back in the dugout. Now on the offensive, Southern Vermont went ahead with a single run in the home half of the inning. Senior catcher Kirstin Buchan (Troy, N.Y.) led-off with a walk and then came around from first when a single to right by SVC McDonald got by the Daniel Webster outfield; Buchan motored around the bases, touching home to put the Mountaineers on top 1-0.

Fleming kept up her strikeout streak in the third, putting down the Eagle side in order to make it six straight K's. Southern Vermont threatened to extend its lead in the bottom of the frame when it loaded the bases with no outs, but Durocher worked herself out of it with a pair of foul pop-outs and a final strikeout.

After DWC went down 1-2-3 in the third, SVC once again loaded the bases in the bottom of the fourth. Unfortunately, the Mountaineers couldn't plate any of those runners as Durocher got out of the jam with another inning-ending strikeout. Fleming sat Daniel Webster down in order by way of the K again in the fifth, and the 1-0 Southern Vermont edge carried into the sixth after the hosts couldn't get Fleming home from third.

The Eagles continued to be hard-pressed for runners in the sixth, going down in order for the fifth time of the game. That's when the SVC bats scored four runs to give their senior hurler some breathing room. A lead-off walk preceded Garay singling out to center; Robtoy followed with another base hit to the outfield, bring the first Mountaineer run of the inning in to score. A Daniel Webster error then allowed Garay to come home before a squeeze saw Robtoy cross the dish for the 4-0 lead. After Fleming singled to put runner on the corners, Nichols scored the fifth SVC run on a ground out to short. That would be plenty of support for Fleming as she went back to the circle and added her 14th strikeout of the day during her sixth 1-2-3 inning to close out the win.

GAME 2: Southern Vermont 4, Daniel Webster 2
The Mountaineers jumped on top right away in the second game of the day, going up 3-0 in the bottom of the first. Daniel Webster cut the lead to one with a pair in the fourth, and SVC then added a piece of insurance in the sixth for the sweep.

McDonald was just one strikeout shy of her career-high, her 10 against the Eagles helping her grab her first win of the year (1-3); she only walked one while giving up no earned runs on the afternoon. Durocher returned to the circle for DWC, allowing just one earned in six innings while striking out another five Mountaineer batters in the loss (3-8).

Garay added a 2-3 performance in game two, scoring two runs while swiping a pair of bases. Robtoy went 2-3 as well and scored a run, and McDonald helped her caused with a 1-2 showing at the plate while working a walk and knocking in a run. Fleming was 1-3 with a run scored, and senior catcher Shelby Jones (Hoosick Falls, N.Y.) chipped in with an RBI in the victory.

Each Eagle in the top three spots of the Daniel Webster lineup tallied a hit in the day-cap, sophomore center fielder Kayla Free (Quincy, Mass.) and junior shortstop Ashley England (Old Town, Maine) both going 1-3 with a run scored. Freshman catcher Julia Bodoni (Tewksbury, Mass.) was also 1-3 while sophomore third baseman Skylar Evans (Cranston, R.I.) notched an RBI.

After McDonald used a pair of strikeouts to put DWC away in the first, Southern Vermont put up three in the home half of the box. A pair of walks and steals put two runners in scoring position with no outs, and Garay then sprinted home to cross safely on the throw during a ground out to short. Jones squeezed Robtoy across for the second Mountaineer run, and McDonald ripped a single up the middle with two outs to score Fleming for the 3-0 advantage.

Both sides got a runner to scoring position in the second, but neither could come in as the pitchers got out of their respective half innings. The third was also scoreless with only McDonald walking to get aboard, sending the game to the fourth with SVC maintaining its lead.

Daniel Webster was able to trim its deficit to one, however, with a pair of runs in the top of the fourth. Free singled to right to lead-off the inning, and she then came all the way around the diamond on the ensuing at bat as England made it to third on a Mountaineer fielding error after her single. England crossed the plate two batters later as Evans grounded it back to McDonald who elected to take the force out at first.

Garay bunted for a hit in the fourth and then made her way over to third, but that's where she would be stranded as Durocher induced an inning-ending ground out to second. Daniel Webster went down in order in the top of the fifth before a lone Fleming single would be all the offense SVC could muster in the home half.

A lead-off DWC single in the sixth wouldn't result in much, McDonald retiring the next three batters to preserve the 3-2 edge. She was afforded a small cushion in the sixth when the Mountaineers got some action going with two outs. Garay lined a come-backer up the middle to get on, and she moved all the way to third when Robtoy dropped one into shallow right center. A passed ball then allowed Garay to scoot home, making it a 4-2 ballgame. McDonald returned to the rubber and put the game away, sitting down the Eagles in order for her first victory and the third for SVC in league play.