|Husson University||Castleton University|
CASTLETON, Vt. – Helping the Eagles split the day with a 3-1 victory over Castleton in the second game of the doubleheader; Tamara Aunchman drove in the winning hit with a two-run homer. With this bomb over the left field fence, the rookie picked up her seventh home run of the season which is the most by any freshman in Husson program history in a single season. The Spartans took down the Eagles 1-0 in the first game.
Castleton (18-8-1, 10-2 NAC) took the opener on a walk-off sacrifice fly, scoring the only run of the game to come out victorious in the bottom of the seventh, 1-0. The Spartans dropped game two, as Husson (25-11, 9-1 NAC) used a three-run third inning to claim a 3-1 win.
Wood made the most of her game-one start, taking a perfect game into the fifth inning before allowing just two hits and striking out 15 in the game. It was the first time she reached double-digit punch outs in a game this season, and was her highest total since she racked up 16 strikeouts in her no-hitter against Thomas College a season ago. She then appeared out of the bullpen in game two, tossing two hitless innings while adding two more strikeouts to the ledger. Briley Blackbird came through in the clutch with the game-winning RBI in the first game of the day, while Sara Baker drove in the Spartans’ only other run in game two. Blackbird, Baker and Karli Theberge each had two hits on the day to pace the Castleton attack.
Husson received superb pitching performances from Jen Jones and Alannah Healy, as Jones shouldered the 1-0 loss in the first game. She struck out nine in the complete game, scattering five hits and walking one. Healy worked her way out of a jam in the third inning of game two, cruising most of the way for her eighth win of the season as she allowed just four hits and walk to go along with an unearned run. She struck out four. Brianna Brochu bounced back from an 0-for-3 performance in the opener with a three-hit game in the second game of the day, and Aunchman tallied a home run and two RBIs to lead the offensive production for the Eagles.
The first game was a pitchers’ duel, as Wood and Jones traded zeros the entire way until the final frame, when Theberge led off with a double. McKinlie Carpenter laid down a sacrifice bunt with two strikes, advancing Theberge to third base with just one out. After getting down in the count 0-2, Blackbird lofted a ball to the left-center field gap, where it was flagged down with a diving catch by the Eagles’ center fielder. The out proved to be of no harm, as Theberge tagged up and scored the winning run easily to cap off Wood’s gem with a narrow victory. Up until the bottom of the seventh, Jones was going on a 28 consecutive inning shutout streak for the Eagles.
Both sides again traded zeros in the first two innings of game two, as Husson led off the game with a base hit by B. Brochu, who was cut down trying to go first-to-third on a sacrifice bunt. Taylor Paquette then worked out of the inning before posting another scoreless frame in the second inning. Healy was just as effective for the Eagles, tallying a 1-2-3 inning in the first before working around an error in the second to keep the game scoreless.
Husson’s bats came alive in the third inning, as B. Brochu tallied her second hit of the game with one out in the inning. Chloe Gorey then reached base on a fielder’s choice to put two runners on base, before a passed ball and sacrifice fly scored B. Brochu. With two outs in the inning, Aunchman turned on an inside pitch and launched it over the left field fence, pushing Husson’s lead to 3-0.
The three runs proved to be all Healy needed, as the righty worked her way out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the bottom half of the inning to preserve the three-run lead. Blackbird led off with a base hit, before Sami Carlo notched a base hit bunt to give Castleton a pair of runners on base. Timi Carone then sent a line drive into center field, but it turned into an out as Blackbird was thrown out at third base by the center fielder for the first out. After Baker walked to load the bases, Healy induced a fly out and a groundout to escape the danger.
Paquette settled in after allowing three runs in the third, retiring the last six batters she faced in the fourth and fifth innings before giving way to Wood in the sixth.
Castleton pushed across its lone run of the game in the bottom of the fifth inning, as Carlo reached base and advanced to second on a misplay by the Eagles’ first baseman. After a fly out by Carone, Baker knocked an RBI base hit into left field, scoring Carlo and narrowing the gap to two runs, 3-1.
After Wood kept Husson off the board in the sixth inning, Castleton looked to start the offense again as Tori Swaine led off with a base hit. She was quickly erased, however, as Healy induced a double-play ball, before getting a groundout to end the inning. The Spartans went down 1-2-3 in the seventh, splitting the doubleheader with a 3-1 loss.
Paquette worked 5.0 innings on the day, allowing just five hits and a walk. She was charged with three runs, and struck out one batter. By the end of the day, Wood struck out 17 batters over 9.0 innings.
In seven innings, Healy gave up a mere four hits and one walk, while striking out four batters.