CASTLETON, Vt. – The Castleton softball team returns to action for a pair of mid-week doubleheaders on Wednesday and Thursday, hosting Plymouth State and Southern Vermont in non-conference action.
The Spartans take on Plymouth St. on Wednesday at 3:30 and 5:30, before hosting a twin bill against Southern Vermont on Thursday at the same times. Castleton is 10-6 on the season, most recently splitting a doubleheader with Keene State on Monday.
Tori Swaine leads the Spartans' offense with a .370 batting average, ranking among the top hitters in the North Atlantic Conference. The sophomore also has a team-leading .429 on-base percentage with six walks and a hit by pitch. Timi Carone ranks second on the team with a .345 batting average, and leads the team with 16 RBIs through 16 games. The junior leadoff hitter is knocked her second career home run against Keene St. on Monday, launching a grand slam to dead center field in a 10-5 win for the Spartans. Sara Baker has brought power to the Castleton lineup, as she hit her third home run of the season—a three-run shot—in the 10-5 win as well. Baker leads the Spartans in home runs and slugging percentage, and is tied for the team lead with Carone with 15 runs scored. Sami Carlo and Kayley Fountain each have batting averages north of .300, while Karli Theberge has 11 runs scored and 10 RBIs on the season.
Taylor Paquette leads the Spartans with a 7-1 record over 52.0 innings with a 2.29 ERA. The junior righthander has 27 strikeouts on the year, with eight of those strikeouts looking, and has just five walks to rank inside the nation's top 20 in walks allowed per seven innings. Kayla Wood has a 3.04 ERA on the season after suffering a loss in her last outing against Keene St., racking up 23 strikeouts in 46.0 innings on the season with a 3-4 record.
Plymouth St. enters the day with a 15-13 mark, going 4-2 in its last six games. The Panthers split a twin bill with Southern Maine on Tuesday, falling 2-1 before winning 7-2 in game two.
Emma Rhodes leads the team with a .348 batting average over 20 games played. Katie Kennard has a .321 average, and leads the team with seven doubles, 12 walks and 26 hits. Abrie Davis and Cassidy Emerson each have batting averages above .300, with Davis driving in a team-best 11 runs. Nina Murray has scored 14 times to lead the Panthers, and Debra Morrill and Lindsey Hall have stolen four bases each.
Caitlyn Miller has thrown 76.0 innings for Plymouth St., working to an 8-3 record with a 1.66 ERA. She has five complete games as well as two saves, and has struck out 48 batters on the season. Hannah Seidner has a 2.58 ERA for the Panthers, working 40.2 innings with a 2-2 record. Kayla Mathieu and Allison Moylan have each thrown 37 or more innings this season, combining for a 5-8 record over 12 starts.
Castleton picked up a pair of wins over the Panthers a season ago, winning 6-0 and 5-1 at Plymouth St. Wood tossed a four-hit shutout in game one, before Paquette tossed two scoreless innings in relief in game two of the day. McKinlie Carpenter collected three RBIs over the two games.
Southern Vermont faces MCLA on Wednesday before coming to Castleton on Thursday, and enters the week with a 4-12 record. The Mountaineers are currently on a six-game losing streak, with five of their last six losses coming by nine runs or more.
Southern Vermont has three batters hitting above .300, with Nicole Matthews leading the way with an impressive .432 average. Matthews has four doubles and three home runs on the season, and has driven in a team-high 18 runs. Shea Wilson sits second on the team at .385, and has scored 12 times on the season. Lizzy Bench has clubbed six home runs this season, driving in 17 runs with a .362 batting average. Bench has scored 19 times on the season to lead Southern Vermont, and boasts a .787 slugging percentage.
Wilson also leads the team with 54.2 innings pitched and three wins, going the distance in nine starts. The junior has a 10.24 ERA, however, giving up 80 earned runs on 129 hits and 27 walks. Matthews has tossed 29.0 innings on the season, but has given up 81 earned runs for a 19.55 ERA and a 1-5 record.
The Spartans haven't faced Southern Vermont since 2011, when they picked up a pair of 22-0 wins on the road.