SCHENECTADY, N.Y. — The Middlebury College softball team improved to 11-6 with a two-game sweep at Union on Thursday, 7-1 and 10-2.
It was the Panthers’ turn to take the weekend off from NESCAC West play, in which they have a 2-1 mark. Middlebury is scheduled to play a Wednesday doubleheader at Skidmore and then return to league play with a three-game set at Hamilton on Friday and Saturday.
On Thursday, shortstop Jessa Hoffman tied the program record with two homers in game one; she finished the day five for seven with a double, five RBIs and four runs.
In game one, the Panthers took a 1-0 first-inning lead when Hoffman homered to left. Middlebury made it 2-0 in the third on an Emma Katz single, a Kimber Sable walk and a Hoffman single. Union cut the lead to 2-1 with an unearned run off winning pitcher Elizabeth Morris, who limited Union to four hits.
Middlebury responded with a three-run fourth triggered by Sable’s solo shot. Jackie Stern doubled and scored on Jessica Poracky’s single, and Carlyn Vachow doubled Stern home to make it 5-1. Hoffman’s two-run homer in the seventh created the final score.
In game two, Union’s Aimee Palleschi launched a two-run homer off Panther starter Alexa Lesenskyj to give her team an early lead. In the third, Katz singled, Sable reached on an error, Stern singled one run home, and Hoffman doubled home the tying run. RBI singles by Emily Kraytenberg and Alex Scibetta then made it 5-2.
Hoffman singled in the fourth and scored on a Vachow double that made it 6-2, and Sable doubled home two runs in the fifth to make it 8-2, and the Panthers cruised from there.
Neve Sterns pitched the final inning and retired the final side in order to close out the game, with Lesenskyj earning the win, the Panthers’ sixth straight.