BANGOR, Maine – Dropping both games it played in on Friday afternoon, the Castleton University softball team was eliminated from competition in the North Atlantic Conference Championship. After falling 2-0 in their first game to No. 2 New England College, the three-seeded Spartans were unable to scratch across a run in the second contest, eventually surrendering 4-0 to host No. 1 Husson.
Castleton wraps up the season at 11-17 overall. Thomas and Husson continue to play with the Terriers facing the Pilgrims in the day's fourth game. Meanwhile, the Eagles survive and advance to Saturday to face the loser of game four.
Thomas 2, Castleton 0
New England College plated two runs in the first frame and held on using a brilliant pitching performance by starter Taylor Barbour to hold on.
Castleton's best chance came in the final inning as it got two runners on. With two out, pinch hitter Olivia Thayer looped a single to center. In the next at-bat, Rachael McCormick kept the line moving with a base knock to right. Yet, Barbour rebounded with a strikeout to end the frame and the threat.
In the third, Devin Millerick tallied the Spartans first hit of the game. The freshman laced a double to the opposite field; however, she was stranded as the pitcher collected the final out of the inning.
Taylor Paquette started and pitched the entire game going six strong. The senior struck out seven opposing batters and allowed a single earned run.
Husson 4, Castleton 0
The batting struggles continued into the second game as Castleton faced another dominant pitcher that put together a brilliant performance.
Selected as the designated home team, the Spartans headed into the bottom of the first inning trailing 1-0 after Husson scored one on a wild pitch. Castleton was poised to answer back by getting the first two on.
Working into a full count, Timi Carone slapped a single on the payoff pitch over the second baseman's head to reach. Catching the defense off-guard Calli Van Gorden followed up the single with a bunt single.
The Eagles' pitcher Jen Jones appeared to reach another level from that point on, striking out the next three Spartans, while retiring five straight and not allowing a hit until the sixth.
In that said frame, Van Gorden reached on a base hit through the left side and moved to second after Sara Baker walked. Despite getting two on, Castleton was unable to cash in in the penultimate frame.
Paquette started in the circle for the second consecutive game and threw all seven innings, totaling 13 on the afternoon. She struck out five in the loss.
Castleton will return to action in 2019 as part of the Little East Conference and will look to make an impact on the standings immediately as it returns the majority of its roster.
@CastletonSports | IG: castletonsports | FB: Castleton University Athletics