CASTLETON, Vt. – The Spartans got a walk-off single from Jessica Babcock in the opening game to win it 2-1 in nine innings but couldn't keep up the momentum, falling 10-1 in six innings in the second game of a doubleheader at Spartan Field on Saturday afternoon.
Tied 1-1 in the bottom of the ninth with two outs and Kayla Daigle on third, Jessica Babcock ripped an offering to right-center to plate Daigle and secure the 2-1 victory. The win put Castleton at 4-0 in the North Atlantic Conference. The Spartans finished the day at 4-1 in the NAC and 11-9 overall while Husson is just behind at 4-2 in conference play and 15-9 on the year following the split .
Sophomore Kayla Wood was lights out in the first game, going the full 9.0 innings while giving up six hits and one earned run while striking out ten batters. Offensively, Katie Gagne and Babcock each finished the afternoon with three hits.
For the Eagles, Kayla Merrill was dominant in defeat. She gave up just three hits and two earned runs while striking out five without walking a batter. Sister Lyndsay Merrill was solid at the plate with a team-high four hits. Deb Colpits earned the win in the second game and helped her cause with two doubles and four RBI.
Wood and Merrill kept the offenses at bay through the first two innings, however, Husson plated a run in the top of the third. Merrill hit a leadoff double to the left field wall and came around to score on a bloop single to centerfield. The Eagles put runners on second and third, but Wood got out of the inning on a nice running scoop and throw to first by Brittany Brayman at third.
Castleton tied it up in the bottom of the fifth when Chelsea Grady roped a double to left field. One batter later, Ruby Bushey ripped a two-strike pitch down the right field line for an RBI triple, but she was stranded to leave it 1-1.
Both pitchers continued their excellence, sending the game to extra innings. Castleton threatened in the bottom of the eighth as they moved the runner from second to third with one out. However, a lineout and groundout ended the threat.
Husson came back in the top of the ninth with a sacrifice bunt to advance the runner with two outs, but Wood struck out Sam Schultz looking with the count loaded to get out of the frame.
In the bottom of the ninth, Sami Carlo bunted Timi Carone over to third. Kayla Daigle reached on a fielder's choice and advanced to second as Carone got caught in a run-down between second and third for the second out. Daigle scooted to third on a wild pitch and Babcock ripped a single to the wall for the game-winner.
Neither team could score until the third inning of the second game. With one out and runners on first and second, Allie Hill bunted and reached on a throwing error by pitcher Taylor Paquette. One run came into score, but Bushey threw out the second runner from right field for the second out. Lyndsay Merrill drove in Hill with an RBI single to push the lead to 2-0.
Castleton got a run back in the bottom of the fourth as Grady ripped a solo home run over the left field fence.
Husson countered with six runs in the top of the fifth to take control. Three of the first four batters reached, scoring one run and chasing Paquette. The Eagles kept it going with a two-run double from Colpits, an RBI double from Haley Spier and then a two-run home run by Sam Shultz for 8-1 lead.
The Eagles added two more runs in the top of the sixth for the 10-1 final.
Paquette took the loss, going 4.1 innings with seven hits and three earned runs while striking out a batter. Cassidy Tedeschi and Katie Gagne both game up earned runs in relief.
The Spartans return to action tomorrow when they travel to play at Keene St. for a doubleheader beginning at 1 pm and Husson travels to New England College for a NAC doubleheader.