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Monday, Apr 22, 2024

Softball Season Ends on Another Walk-Off

The Middlebury softball season ended last Saturday, May 5, when the Panthers gave up a late lead to Bowdoin in the Nescac quarterfinals in Amherst, Massachusetts. The Panthers were ahead 2–0 and five outs away from advancing to the semifinal, in which they would have faced Amherst, before Bowdoin strung together a few hits and tied the game at two. Bowdoin eventually secured the game in the seventh inning, when they scored on a walk-off single to win 3–2.

Before the Nescac playoffs, Middlebury played a doubleheader at home against Lyndon St. on Wednesday, May 2, in what would be the Panther seniors’ last games at home. Allison Quigley ’18 also pitched her last game as a Panther on Wednesday, and she went out with a flourish. In the second game of the doubleheader, Quigley no-hit the Hornets in an 8–0 Middlebury win, the eight no-hitter in program history.

Middlebury obliterated Lyndon St. in the first game too, 23–0, powered by Melanie Mandell’s six RBIs.

In the top of the third inning of Saturday’s game, Ali Della Volpe ’18 led off with a single. The very next batter, Olivia Bravo ’20, doubled in Della Volpe to put Middlebury ahead 1–0 and advanced to third on the throw home. Then Emily Moore ’21 hit a sacrifice fly to left field, and the Panthers led 2–0 after two and a half innings.

Morris also took the hill on Saturday. She held the Polar Bears in check over the first five innings of Saturday’s quarterfinal matchup, allowing only four baserunners in that time frame.

In the top of the sixth inning, Middlebury threatened once more, loading the bases with only one out. But Bowdoin struck out the next two hitters to get out of the jam.

And the Polar Bears’ momentum carried into the bottom half of the inning, when they finally broke through, stringing together two hits, a walk, and a sacrifice fly to tie the game at two heading into the final frame.

Middlebury could not respond in its turn at bat in the seventh. Bowdoin’s first hitter singled, but Moore got the next two batters out as the baserunner advanced to second. She walked the next batter, and then Bowdoin’s Lauren O’Shea ended Middlebury’s season. She hit a walk-off single, and Bowdoin won 3–2.

Middlebury finished the season 20–11 in Quigley, Della Volpe, Taylor Gardner ’18 and Kati Daczkowksi ’18’s last season in the blue-and-white.  As a group, they went 78–47–1 in their four-year careers while making two Nescac appearances.

Without those four, Middlebury will return nine players from this season’s roster in 2019, including Mandell, who had the team’s best batting average and slugging percentage, and Moore, who tossed the most innings for the Panthers in her first season and led the team with a 2.15 ERA.