The Hamilton College softball team opened a three-game weekend series with the visiting Middlebury Panthers Friday at the Loop Road Complex. Middlebury posted an 8-5 win to kick off the NESCAC West series.
The Continentals are now 8-18 overall with an 0-7 mark in NESCAC West action. They held a 3-1 lead before Middlebury took the lead for good with five third-inning runs. Hamilton pulled to within 6-5 in the fourth inning but the visitors tacked on a pair of insurance runs in the seventh to seal the win.
Daphne Assimakopoulos '17 clubbed a two-run double in the Continentals' first at bat to spark Hamilton's three-run first and – after the Panthers went ahead 6-3 -- Phoebe Collins '18 closed the gap to a run with a two-run fourth-inning home run.
Middlebury pitcher Allison Quigley held the hosts hitless after Collins' home run (the third of her career). She allowed just two base runners over the game's final 3.1 innings – Kendall Searcy '20 and Helen Lin '19 drew walks in the fifth and sixth, respectively.
Middlebury's third-inning outburst was highlighted by a bases-loaded triple to center field by Melanie Mandell. Quigley, who had two of Middlebury's seven hits, doubled in a run.
Sarah Freyre led off the seventh with a home run down the left-field line and Marybeth Stone added a pinch-hit RBI single to close out the scoring.
Desmen DePaulis '19 pitched five innings of three-hit ball in relief for Hamilton.
The two teams face off in a doubleheader Saturday to wrap up the series. Earlier this week, the start time was moved up to 9:30 a.m. in anticipation of poor weather later in the afternoon.