BANGOR, Maine – The Castleton softball team staved off elimination in its second game of the day on Friday, defeating New England College by a final score of 3-1 in the North Atlantic Conference Championship Tournament.
The Spartans (19-9-1) advance to Saturday with the win and will face the loser of the Husson versus Thomas College matchup. First pitch for Saturday's game is scheduled for noon at O'Keefe Field. New England College finishes its season with a record of 17-21 after being eliminated with two losses on Friday.
Sara Baker notched a two-hit game, including a triple, while Timi Carone added a pair of runs with a hit and a walk. McKinlie Carpenter added one of Castleton's three extra-base hits in the contest with a double in the second inning. Kayla Wood went the distance in the victory, earning her eighth win of the season and striking out six batters in the complete game.
Brianna Castellano and Rachel Kerrigan had two hits apiece for New England College, while Chanel Welch drove in the team's only run. Gabriella Marcheschi tossed all seven innings for the Pilgrims, allowing three runs on six hits and two walks while striking out a pair.
Castleton wasted no time in taking the first lead of the game, as Carone opened the game with a walk. A base hit into right field by Baker advanced Carone to third base, and a fielder's choice by Kayley Fountain scored the games opening run to put the Spartans on top, 1-0.
New England College drew the game level in the home half of the second inning, when Joslyn Gallagher tagged a one-out double down the left-field line. A base hit advanced her to third, before a sacrifice bunt brought her home to make it 1-1.
The tied scored didn't hold for long, as the Spartans took back the lead in the top of the third inning. Baker led off the inning with a triple into the right-field corner, coming in to score on a deep sacrifice fly by Tori Swaine. Marcheschi limited the damage, allowing just the one run in the inning to keep the score at 2-1 in favor of the Spartans.
Both sides traded zeros again until the top of the fifth inning, when Castleton tacked on a key insurance run. Carone tagged a one-out double into the gap, before tagging up and advancing on a foul out by Baker. She came in to score on a sacrifice fly by Fountain, pushing the gap to 3-1.
A two-run lead was more than enough for Wood, who retired 15 batters in a row before allowing a two-out single in the last half of the seventh inning. The base hit proved to be inconsequential, as Wood retired the last batter to seal the victory and propel the Spartans to Saturday's action.
Castleton out hit NEC 6-5, and capitalized on a pair of Pilgrim errors.