BENNINGTON, Vt. – The Southern Vermont College softball team played its first-ever home games under the lights Monday night at Willow Park, but the Mountaineers had the experience spoiled by Castleton University which won both contests in five innings on 8-0 and 18-2 clips.
SVC (3-25) is next in action on Friday with a 3 p.m. New England Collegiate Conference doubleheader against Lesley University at Wellesley College's diamond. CU (6-14) is back to North Atlantic Conference play on Wednesday with a 3:30 p.m. start at Lyndon State College.
GAME 1: Castleton 8 – Southern Vermont 0 (5 inn.)
A four-run top of the first would be all the Spartans needed to take game one. Castleton doubled its lead over the next two innings and surrendered just one hit the whole way to close it out after the fifth.
SVC senior right fielder Julia Florence (Salem, Mass.) worked her way on base twice as she went 1-1 with a walk. Senior righty Shea Wilson (Mesa, Ariz.) started the game from the circle and struck out a pair in the loss (1-14).
Spartan sophomore shortstop Calli Van Gorden (Stillwater, N.J.) was 3-4 with a run scored and a run batted in, and junior first baseman Tori Swaine (Oakdale, N.Y.) went 2-3 with two RBIs and a run scored. CU senior right-hander Taylor Paquette (Addison, Vt.) tossed all five innings of the win (4-9)—striking out eight and giving up just one hit and two walks.
Swaine knocked in two runs with a ground-rule double in the top of the first before the Spartans added another pair in the frame. After CU got a fifth run in the second, Florence legged out a single towards first; that would be the only SVC hit of the game, however, as Paquette retired 10 of the last 11 batters she faced.
GAME 2: Castleton 18 – Southern Vermont 2 (5 inn.)
The visitors struck first in game two with four runs in the top of the second before SVC came right back with one of its own in the home half of the inning. CU added eight more in the third, however, and padded its lead with six more through its final two at bats to pull away for the sweep.
Southern Vermont freshman third baseman Mackenzie Rumrill (Randolph, Vt.), freshman catcher Emma Griffith (Halifax, Vt.), and sophomore shortstop Sarah Billow (South Glens Falls, N.Y.) were all 1-2 with Griffith adding a run scored. Wilson went the first two innings on the rubber once again and struck out one in the loss (1-15).
Castleton freshman catcher Olivia Thayer (Franklin, Vt.) went 4-4 with three runs scored and another batted in while junior second baseman Michaela Madigan (Johnsonville, N.Y.) was 3-3 with a walk, three RBIs, and three runs scored. Freshman righty Rachael McCormick (Starksboro, Vt.) threw the first four innings from the circle—striking out four in the win (2-4).
McCormick helped herself from the batter's box in the second as she singled up the middle to bring home the first run of the game. SVC mishaps then made way for three more Spartans to cross the dish. Southern Vermont answered with a lone run in the bottom of the frame when Girard was able to scamper home on a grounder to third.
McCormick raked a run-scoring triple down the line in left in the third as CU chalked up eight runs for a healthy advantage. With runners at the corners in the bottom of the fifth, SVC scored its second when Wilson came in on a grounder to third. That would be if for the hosts, however, with the Spartans wrapping it up for their fifth win in their last six games.
– #LetsGoSVC –