The Panthers softball team had a much better weekend winning all three of their games against the Hamilton Continentals to improve to 12-9 on the year.
Middlebury's Emily Burbridge and Kelsey Chisholm banged two run doubles to spark a four run Panther fifth inning and secure a 6-3 win in Friday nights series opener. Middlebury led 1-0 after two innings and scored four in the decisive fifth.
Hamilton got on the board with one run in the bottom of the frame when Rapoza plated Amanda Nardi with a single. The Continentals put together a two-run sixth inning to close the gap to 5-3. O'Connor got on base with a single, stole second and made it home on a throwing error while Coughlin reached first. Liz Reid bunted for another hit and Coughlin made it home on a throwing error.
Mandy Hyne led a quiet Hamilton offense with two hits. The Continentals mustered just five singles. Rachel Rapoza had one hit and one RBI. Amber O'Connor had one hit and scored one run.
Middlebury scored an insurance run in the top of the seventh on three straight singles by Geena Constantin, Burbridge and Chisolm. Hamilton was retired in order in the bottom of the inning. Coughlin pitched all seven innings and took the loss. She struck out five batters. Constantin picked up the win for the Panthers to improve to 4-3 on the year. She worked six innings giving up just one earned run on three hits while striking out six and issuing a pair of walks.
The Panthers won the first game of Saturdays doubleheader 6-0 and went on to a 7-2 victory in Game 2.
Middlebury opened the scoring in the first game with one run in the top of the fourth inning. They added three runs in the fifth and two more in the sixth. Offensively centerfielder Leslie Crawford led the Panthers by banging out three hits in four plate appearances and scoring twice.
But the real story was Middlebury starter sophomore Ali McAnaney who threw a complete game shutout, her first of the year. In seven innings of work McAnaney surrendered just three hits while striking out six and giving up just one walk. She improved to 6-4 on the year with the win.
Sophomore Mandy Hyne started in the circle for Hamilton, pitched five innings and took the loss. Hyne allowed three earned runs before Megan Coughlin took over for the final two innings.
In the nightcap, Middlebury exploded for a four-run fourth inning, with catcher Sophie Dorot delivering a huge two-out, two run single, and they never looked back on their way to a 7-2 win. The Panthers added two runs in the fifth on a two run double by Burbridge. Burbridge led the Panthers offense in the night cap by going three-for-four with three RBIs and a run scored. As of Monday Burbridge had 30 RBIs and trailed just Crawford (33) for the club lead.
McAnaney started again and pitched three more innings of shutout ball before giving way to Ashley Higgins who pitched the final four frames to pick up the win and improve to 2-2 on the year. Higgins gave up two runs and four hits while striking out two and walking just one in her four innings of work.
Coughlin started in the circle and took the loss for the Continentals. She allowed four earned runs in four innings and struck out three batters. Hyne took over for the final three innings and did not allow an earned run.
Middlebury improved to 12-9 with the three game sweep and after a scheduled double header played at Union College on Wednesday were scheduled to hosts the undefeated Amherst Jeffs in a three game series this weekend. Friday's game starts at 5:00 pm, with a double header beginning at noon on Saturday.