CASTLETON, Vt. – Kylie Wright pitched 11 strong innings in the circle and Machaila Arjavich hit her first career home run for Castleton in a doubleheaders split with Western Connecticut State on Friday. Wright fired six shutout innings after surrendering two runs in the first as Castleton won the first game, 4-2, before the Colonial bats came alive in an 8-1 triumph in the nightcap.
With the split, Castleton's record goes to 11-16 overall and 3-9 in the Little East Conference (LEC). WestConn is 3-5 in LEC action and 15-11 overall.
The Spartans return to action on Monday with a rescheduled non-league doubleheader at home versus Middlebury. The team will also host its Strike Out Cancer Games to raise money for cancer research. First pitch of game one is scheduled for 3:30 p.m.
Castleton 4, WestConn 2
The Colonials snagged an early 2-0 lead, but it was all they could muster against Wright as she went the distance for the victory. A walk to the two-hitter and starting pitcher, Sara Tenke came around to score when Charline Plasczynski tripled to deep center field. She scored one batter later when Erica Bower bounced a single through the left side.
Castleton cut the deficit in half in the second on Arjavich's solo blast to center.
Then, a three-run third inning gave the Spartans a two-run edge, which they would hold for the victory. Jayna Ryan kicked off the third with an infield single on a slap down the third base line. Then, Kate LaPan reached on a throwing error after successfully dropping down a sacrifice bunt and with the runners on first and third, a passed ball allowed a run to score. Calli Van Gorden then moved the runner long with a sacrifice bunt. Miranda Fish drove in one on an infield single and after a pitch hit Tori Swaine and Devin Millerick laid down a bunt single to load the bases, a wild pitch allowed the fourth Spartan run, third of the inning, to cross the plate.
A walk, bunt single, and swinging bunt placed perfectly in the top of the fourth inning loaded the bases with nobody out. Wright pitched out of the jam by inducing a foul out followed by an infield pop out and a swinging strikeout.
WestConn put a runner on in each of the final three innings with a leadoff single in the sixth and one-out base knocks on both the fifth and seventh. The Colonials put the tying run on first base in the seventh with only one out, but a pop out and fly out by the four and five hitters ended it. Wright snagged her sixth win of her rookie campaign with the decision.
Western Connecticut 8, Castleton 1
Plasczynski had the big blow, a three-run homer to dead center field in the top of the first, which was all the Colonials needed in game two.
WestConn starter Jaclyn Smith retired the first 10 Spartans she saw and faced the minimum into the Castleton fifth. Van Gorden broke up the no-hitter with one out in the fourth but a sharply hit line drive by Fish turned into a double play.
Olivia Bown took the circle for the Spartans and yielded walks to the first two batters for WestConn. After retiring a batter via a fly out, Plasczynski uncorked her third long-ball of the season.
Bowen put two runners on after setting down the first two batters of the second. Arjavich came in and fired two wild pitches to lead to a run. The Colonials got another one in a rundown two batters later in the process of a runner caught stealing second.
WestConn made it 6-0 in the third off newly-inserted Wright when Natalia Hart grounded a single down the left field line to score a runner from second base after a one-out single and stolen base by Erica Bower.
The fourth, fifth, and sixth innings were played scoreless until both teams filled the scoreboard in the seventh. WestConn plated two runs on a two-run single by Bower.
In the bottom of the frame, Fish hit a leadoff single and moved to second shortly after on a wild pitch. Then, Millerick hit an RBI single through the box to score the run.
Smith retired the final two hitters to complete the victory and complete game. She allowed four hits over seven innings and struck out three. She walked one batter.