Castleton rolls over Johnson, looks toward Plymouth

            The Castleton Spartans softball team dominated Johnson State Saturday afternoon in the home opener at Spartan Field.

            Winning the first game of the double header 12-0, the Spartans came back just as strong in game two of the series and picked up another victory by a 9-1 margin.

            In the first game, the Spartans got on the board early and gave Johnson State no chance as they drove home 11 runs in the bottom of the first inning. It was a team effort as seven different batters recorded at least one hit and six different batters were able to drive in at least one run.

            “Our hitting really came together yesterday, and once it started, it was contagious,” said junior Taylor Paquette.

            It was coupled with lockdown pitching from senior Kayla Wood as she managed to pitch a one-hit complete game shutout, punching out seven batters on the way to recording her third win of the season.

            The pitching was just as strong in the second game as Paquette pitched five solid innings, only giving up one earned run and recording five strikeouts, picking up an impressive sixth win of the season.

            The Spartans picked up right where they left off in the first game as they took a 4-1 lead into the fourth inning. In the bottom of the fourth, freshman Karli Theberge drove in two runs on an RBI single. Sophomore Tori Swaine singled to left center driving in one more. Paquette helped her own cause as she was able to drive in another run on a single through the left side and freshman Jordan Gouger drove in another on a ground out to second.

            There was a lot working in the Spartans favor on Saturday, and Swaine stressed that it was more than just the offense.

            “The team’s overall offense and solid pitching led us toward our victories. Staying on top of the ball and having discipline at the plate was needed and we definitely possessed that,” she said. “However, I feel that the strongest piece was not losing focus and staying up on our feet cheering for each other. I feel that our team chemistry helped lead to our wins yesterday.”

            With the doubleheader win, the Spartans are now 9-5 on the season and move to 3-1 in conference play. They hold a team batting average of .299 and are averaging 8 runs per game.

            The Spartans will continue play against non-conference opponent Plymouth State in doubleheader action on April 19 at 3:30.

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