Softball Sweeps Opening Day With 15-6, 18-4 Wins Over Lyndon

brandi johnson slides into home plate

QUEENSBURY, N.Y. – The Southern Vermont College softball team started its 2019 season on the right foot Friday afternoon as the Mountaineers picked up a pair of five-inning wins over Northern Vermont University-Lyndon at the Adirondack Sports Complex. SVC took the opener by a 15-6 margin before topping the Hornets 18-4 in game two for the sweep.

The Mountaineers are now off until they head to Myrtle Beach, S.C. for eight games—the first two being March 18.

The wins mark the first time since 2013 that SVC was victorious in its season opener and the first time since complete game-by-game results started getting archived in 2008 that the team began its season 2-0.

GAME 1: Southern Vermont 15 – Lyndon 6 (5 inn.)
A six-run second put the Mountaineers on top in their first game of the year, and SVC then chalked up four in both the fourth and fifth frames to put it out of the Hornets' reach.

Four Mountaineers registered three hits apiece including sophomore pitcher McKenzie Ebert (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.) who went 3-4 with three runs batted in and a run scored. Freshman shortstop Brandi Johnson (Philmont, N.Y.) had a 3-3 showing with a walk, three runs scored, and an RBI while sophomore right fielder Tessa Sheades (Coventry, Conn.) went 3-4 with a walk, three runs scored, and one run batted in. Junior third baseman Alexis Hufnagel (Port Richey, Fla.) was also 3-3—adding a walk, an RBI, and a run scored to her line.

Ebert had a great showing on the rubber as she struck out eight Lyndon batters without walking any in the win (1-0); she gave up six runs—just two being earned—on seven hits.

Each team was able to cross the dish once in the first inning, but Southern Vermont then garnered some breathing room in the second. Ebert knocked in the first run of the rally with a double, and Johnson later added a run-scoring double of her own.

The Hornets got two back in the bottom of the third, but SVC responded right away with four in the fourth. Sophomore catcher Mackenzie Rumrill (Randolph, Vt.) launched her second career homer to center field—plating a pair before Sheades and Hufnagel each followed with an RBI-single.

Sheades then cranked a ground-rule double in the fifth to bring in the Mountaineers' second run of the inning, and Ebert followed with a two-run bouncer over the fence to make it 15-6. Lyndon posted two runs in the home half of the fifth, but it would not be enough for the game to make it into the sixth.

GAME 2: Southern Vermont 18 – Lyndon 4 (5 inn.)
Up 4-0 in the second game of the day, SVC's bats exploded for nine runs in the top of the third. That comfortable cushion would be carried through the last out for Southern Vermont to claim the sweep.

Sheades capped her strong day with a 3-5 performance in the batter's box—recording three RBI's and a pair of runs in the win. Freshman center fielder Michaela Kelly (Amsterdam, N.Y.) went 3-4 with a walk, three runs scored, and an RBI while Rumrill was 2-3 with two walks, three runs scored, and two more runs batted in. Ebert added a 2-4 showing with a walk, three RBI's, and a run scored in game two.

Freshman righty Julia Whipple (Schenectady, N.Y.) went to the rubber and picked up her first collegiate victory (1-0); she also had eight strikeouts and no walks while surrendering just four runs (three earned) on nine hits.

Rumrill got the scoring started when she ripped an RBI-single in the top of the first, and Sheades then followed with one of her own. Kelly rounded the bases in the top of the second as she roped one out to right-center and kicked it into gear to touch them all and make it 4-0.

SVC then broke it wide open in the third with a crooked nine spot; each Mountaineer scored before Lyndon could get the first out of the inning. Whipple, freshman catcher Jaydan Allinson (Miami, Ariz.), Rumrill, and freshman left fielder Toni Borg (Mansfield, Texas) each had an RBI-single in the frame before Sheades tagged a run-scoring double.

The Hornets got three back in the bottom of the third, but Southern Vermont answered with two in the fourth and another three in the fifth; Ebert knocked in runs during each of those scoring frames—two coming on a double in her last at bat of the day. Lyndon was able to scratch across one in the bottom of the fifth before SVC secured the final out.