Softball wins twice behind outstanding pitching

Sophomore Kirsten Pelletier shutout her second straight opponent on Wednesday, March 7, 2018 in Clermont, Fla. (File photo by Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College)

CLERMONT, Fla. -- The Bates softball team rode two excellent pitching performances on Wednesday to pick up wins over Penn State Brandywine and Mitchell College respectively. The Bobcats (3-1) defeated the Lions 1-0 and won in six innings by a count of 9-1 over the Mariners. 

Bates 1, Penn State Brandywine 0

Sophomore Kirsten Pelletier turned in another dominating performance in the circle and the Bates softball team defeated Penn State Brandywine 1-0 Wednesday morning.

Pelletier (Sidney, Maine) allowed just two hits and struck out eight in a complete game shutout. The Lions (1-2) got a strong pitching performance of their own from Katie DeStefano, who held the Bobcats to four hits in the contest.

Bates pushed across the eventual game-winning run in the bottom of the fourth. First-year Caroline Bass (Newton, Mass.) reached on an error and promptly stole second base. Sophomore Julia Panepinto (Buffalo, N.Y.) doubled home Bass to put the Bobcats up 1-0.

The Lions got runners on base in the first four innings of play but failed to score. After that Pelletier dominated, retiring the final 10 batters she faced in a row. This included a 1-2-3 sixth inning that saw Pelletier struck out the side. 

Besides Panepinto, the Bobcats got hits from Bass, who went 1-3 with a run scored and a stolen base, first-year Payton Buxton (Middlebury, Vt.) and first-year Mary Collette (Watertown, Conn.) in the contest. 

Bates 9, Mitchell 1 (6 innings)

The Bobcats scored five times in the third inning to grab the lead for good in a 9-1 victory over Mitchell College Wednesday morning.

Buxton (1-1) picked up her first collegiate win with six innings of one-run ball, striking out eight Mariners along the way. 

The Bobcats trailed 1-0 entering the third inning. Then first-year Abra Kaplan (Oak Park, Ill.) got the rally going with a single. Junior Andrea Russo (Cheshire, Conn.) singled as well and Bass singled to load the bases. Panepinto singled home Kaplan and Buxton helped her own cause by doubling in Russo and Bass. Senior captain Tori Fitzgerald (Holliston, Mass.) singled in Buxton and Panepinto to make the score 5-1 in favor of Bates.

The Bobcats scored three more in the fifth inning. With one away Buxton got hit by the pitch and Fitzgerald reached on an error. A ground out moved both runners up 60 feet and with two away sophomore India Woolmington (New York, N.Y.) singled in both runners to extend the lead to 7-1. First-year Dulce Alcantara (Far Rockaway, N.Y.) delivered a pinch-hit single and a Mitchell error allowed Woolmington to score, making it 8-1 in favor of the Bobcats.

In the top of the sixth, Bates added another run. Panepinto reached on an error and advanced to second on a ground out. Fitzgerald singled her home for the senior captain's second RBI of the day. She finished 2-4 with a run scored and two RBI's.  

Buxton was in complete control all game in the circle. After allowing a run in the first inning, she did not allow another Mariner to reach base, retiring the final 16 batters she faced in a row. Her 1-2-3 sixth inning clinched the six-inning mercy rule win for the Bobcats.

Russo finished 2-4 with a run scored, Panepinto scored twice and drove in a run, and Buxton scored twice, doubled, and drove in two runs. Meanwhile Woolmington had a big day at the plate as well, going 2-3 with a run scored, a double and two runs batted in.