Castleton softball sweeps, baseball falls on senior day - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Castleton softball sweeps, baseball falls on senior day

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Kayla Wood pitched 12 innings with just one earned run and 15 strikeouts to lead Castleton to a two-game sweep over Johnson St. this afternoon – 5-1 and 7-3.

The Spartans have now won eight of their last nine games and hold a 19-10 record, while also sitting atop the North Atlantic Conference standings with Husson at 10-2 overall. The Badgers, meanwhile, fall to 8-12 overall and 3-7 in conference play with the two losses.

In game one, Wood pitched an absolute gem, as the Spartans outhit the opposition 8-4 to secure a 5-1 victory.

The sophomore right-hander tossed a complete game with just one earned run and seven strikeouts to pick up her 12th win of the season. Andrea Williams, meanwhile, took the loss after throwing seven innings with five runs (one earned) and three strikeouts.

Chelsea Grady paced the offense after going 1-for-3 at the plate with three RBIs. Timi Carone added a pair of triples, while Kayla Daigle contributed two hits and one RBI. Sarah Voorhis led the Badgers with a double and one RBI.

Castleton wasted little time to take its first lead of the game, as Grady notched a two-run single to put the hosts out in front in the bottom of the first. With one on and one out, Brittany Brayman singled to centerfield and advanced to second on a throw to third to put two runners in scoring position. Grady followed with a two-run knock to left center to give the Spartans a 2-0 lead.

Johnson St. responded in the top half of the second with its first run of the game to close the gap to one. After Kristy McDonnell grounded out to start the frame, Shannon Grier doubled to right center before Voorhis brought her home with a two-base hit down the right field line to make it 2-1.

The game remained scoreless until the fifth and sixth innings when Castleton pushed across three more runs to take a 5-1 lead.

Jessica Babcock and Brayman led off the fifth with back-to-back singles up the middle to put two on with one out for Grady. The junior then stepped up to the plate and drove home her third RBI of the day with a deep grounder to the left side of the infield to extend the Spartan advantage back to two.

After back-to-back outs to start the sixth, Carone tripled off the fence in right center, and in the next at-bat, Kristi Lawless sent a drive to deep right that the outfielder couldn't handle, allowing Carone to score. Daigle drove another run across later in the frame, and Wood pitched a perfect seventh to secure a 5-1 Spartan victory.

In game two, the Spartans fell down early by three, but a six-run second inning lifted the squad to an eventual 7-3 victory over the Badgers.

Taylor Paquette started the game for Castleton, giving up three runs in just two innings pitched. Wood relieved in her the third and pitched five innings of shutout baseball while striking out eight to record her 13th win of the year. For Johnson St., Williams suffered her second loss of the day after giving up seven runs in five innings of work.

The Badgers got off to a quick start in the contest, as they scored three times in the opening two frames to take a three-run lead. With two on and two out in the top of the first, McDonnell laced a bases-clearing double into the left field gap, scoring the first two runs of the game. Williams followed in the next inning with a solo shot to left center to hand the away side a 3-0 lead.

That lead didn't last long, however, as the Spartan bats came alive in the bottom of the second with six runs to take the lead, 6-3. With the bases loaded and one out, Williams was called for a balk that allowed Lawless to score. Two batters later, Babcock recorded an RBI single, and Brayman knocked home two more runs in the next at-bat to put the hosts' ahead by one.

After Grady walked to put runners on first and third with two down, Katie Gagne capped off the scoring in the frame with a bases-clearing double to deep right center that scored two more runs and handed Castleton a 6-3 lead.

Katie Traver added a pinch hit, RBI single later in the game, as Wood closed out the contest with five consecutive scoreless innings to capture the season sweep over Johnson St. with a 7-3 victory.

With these two wins, Castleton has secured home field advantage for the NAC Tournament and will host the competition with the first games being played on Friday.

The Spartans failed to string together hits on Tuesday afternoon on senior day at Spartan Field as they fell 4-1 to Union, snapping their 11-game win streak.

Castleton managed just one run in the first inning and eight hits overall while committing two errors as they dropped to 28-10 overall. The Dutchmen, meanwhile, recorded 12 hits including three from Eric Egan to improve to 19-12 on the year.

Senior Matt Ravey got the start and took the loss as he allowed one earned run on five hits with two strikeouts in 3.0 innings. Classmates Tyler Hoare and Tyler Lord each recorded a pair of base hits.

Union's Jake Vesling led off the game with a single and stole second with one out. He came around to score on a Jamie Faber single for the 1-0 lead before Ravey got out of trouble.

Lord rapped a single up the middle to lead off the bottom of the frame and two batters later Nick Swim was hit by a pitch. The duo stole second and third with one out, and Nate Swahn drove in Lord on a groundout to shortstop, tying the game 1-1.

The Dutchmen added a pair of runs in the top of the third. Vesling reach on an error and a bunt single put two runners on. A sacrifice bunt by Faber advanced the runners and Eric Egan singled to give Union a 2-1 advantage. Jake Fishman then lifted a ball to left field for the sacrifice fly and a 3-1 lead.

Union nearly added a run in an inning later on a Vesling single, but Hoare gunned Andrew Goetz down at the plate from right field for the final out. The Dutchmen did extend their lead in the fifth on an RBI single by Fishman.

The Spartans threatened in the bottom of the frame. Logan Whelton-Pane and Lord hit back-to-back singles before advancing on a groundout to the pitcher. Swim was intentionally walked but Union was able to get the out at home on a grounder by Swahn. A flyout then ended the threat.

Relievers Conner Johnson, Ethan Hanson, Scott Michaels and TJ Fearon combined to give up just three singles over the final four innings but Castleton couldn't generate offense as they fell by three.

Nick Williams earned the win for Union by going 8.0 innings and allowing seven hits and one earned run while striking out three. Fishman came on in the ninth for his first save of the year as he struck out a pair of batters.

The Spartans return to action on Friday as they host the NAC Tournament. Castleton will play at the opening game as the top seed at 11 am.

Courtesy: Castleton Athletics

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