TROY, N.Y. – The Castleton softball team suffered a pair of losses at the hands of Rensselaer on Tuesday afternoon, falling 9-1 and 7-1 at Doris B. Robison Field.
The Spartans fall to 7-5 on the season overall with the losses, and drop back-to-back games for the first time this season. Rensselaer improves to 14-4 with the victories.
Karli Theberge and Sara Baker each had a pair of hits at the plate, with Baker launching her second home run of the season for Castleton's only run in game two. Taylor Paquette shouldered the loss in the circle in game two, allowing five earned runs over five innings with four strikeouts.
RPI got strong offensive performances across the board, as the Engineers amassed 23 hits over two games. Devan Puhl had four hits on the day, as did Cam Caswell. Puhl and Lillian Kolehmainen each added four RBIs over the two games.
Karli Theberge suffered her first loss of the season in the circle, but managed a 2-for-3 day at the plate with a run scored in game one. The Spartans were held hitless otherwise, as the bats were stifled by a strong performance from RPI's Jaime Cleasby in the five-inning contest shortened by the eight-run rule.
Cleasby tossed a complete game for the Engineers, striking out seven in five innings and allowing one run on two hits and three walks. Puhl and Kolehmainen each went 3-for-3 with two runs scored for RPI, with Kolehmainen registering a double and a home run.
Castleton jumped out to an early lead in the opener, loading the bases behind a hit and two walks. With two outs in the inning, Jordan Gouger was hit by a pitch to force in Theberge to put the Spartans up 1-0. Rensselaer answered in the home half of the first, tying the game up on an RBI single by Christine White. Cam Caswell was thrown out at third on the play, ending the threat to bring Castleton back to the plate.
After the Spartans went down 1-2-3 in the second, Rensselaer put up two runs in the home half of the inning behind a two-out, two-run double by Puhl. Theberge induced a pop up to end the inning, keeping Castleton within striking distance. Cleasby again retired the Spartans in order, giving the Engineers a chance to add on to their lead.
RPI extended the lead to 5-1 when Kolehmainen pulled a fly ball down the left field line and off the foul pole for a two-run home run in the bottom of the third inning with two outs. The Engineers further extended the lead in the fourth inning, scoring four times to push the lead to 9-1. The inning was capped off with a two-out, two-run double by Kolehmainen.
Castleton once again got on the board first in game two of the day, as Baker led off the fourth inning with a towering home run to left center field to give the Spartans a 1-0 advantage. Rensselaer answered in the home half of the inning, however, when Allie Hunt drove in Caswell with a sacrifice fly.
The Engineers blew the game open in the fifth inning, putting up six runs on six hits and three Spartan errors to take a 7-1. A two-run single by Courtney McArthur highlighted the inning, giving RPI a 6-1 lead before she came around to score on the help of two errors to make it 7-1.
Neither team scored in the sixth, and Castleton was shut out in the seventh inning as well to wrap up the game.
The Spartans return to action on Friday for a home doubleheader against Johnson State. First pitch is slated for 3 p.m. at Spartan Field.