JOHNSON, Vt. – Johnson State College and Lyndon split a wild North Atlantic Conference softball doubleheader at Minaert Field in Johnson. In Game 1, it was the Hornets taking a nine-inning affair by the score of 16-13 and the Badgers won game two 8-7 in a five inning game shortened by darkness.
In the opener, Lyndon struck for five first inning runs to put host Johnson a deep hole but the Badgers clawed back to within one run entering the seventh inning to make it 7-6. The Hornets would capitalize on four Johnson errors in the inning and score what seemed to be four insurance runs to make it 11-6.The Badger bats came alive in the bottom half of the inning as they rallied to score five runs and force extra innings.
But in the ninth consecutive RBI singles by Kathy Kline (Coventry, R.I.), Michelle Wilcox (Sheldon, Vt.), and Jo Locke (St. Johnsbury, Vt.) gave Lyndon a lead they would not relinquish. The trio of Kline, Wilcox and Locke would go 10-for-14 in the game, drive in five runs, and score seven times to spark the Hornet offense. Kline went 4-6 with three runs and an RBI, Wilcox went 3-for-4 with two RBI and two runs scored, while Locke went 3-for-6 with a pair of runs and a pair of RBI.
Natalia Shams (Swampscot, Mass.) came on the bottom of the seventh to stop a Badger rally and earn the win in relief by striking out three in 2 1/3 innings.
Johnson saw Tanya Randall go 3-for-6 with three RBI and both Maria Lovelette and Kayla Golfin finish 2-for-5 with two RBI. Julie Gervais took the loss as she came on in the top of the eighth inning relieving starter Meaghan Russ. who allowed 11 hits over 7 1/3 innings while striking out four.
In the nightcap, and with darkness and rain looming, Johnson raced out to a 6-0 lead after three innings but the Hornets would score four runs in the fourth and three in the fifth to tie the game at 7-7.
Gervais would lead off the bottom of fifth with a line-drive that glanced off Wilcox's glove in leftfield as Gervais hustled into second and to put the go-ahead run in scoring position. After being moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Emily Sullivan, Gervais would score on a wild pitch by Shams and the umpires would immediately call the game due to darkness and with five innings in the books for an official game.
Sullivan would go 2-for-2 with two runs scored in the game while Randall and Golfin would both go 2-for-3 with RBI for Johnson. Gervais would get the winning pitching decision striking out four over five innings. Shams drove in three runs to help her own cause at the plate going 1-for-3 while Locke and Katelyn Willey (Lancaster, N.H.) both went 2-for-3 with two runs scored. Shams was tagged with the loss allowing nine hits and six earned runs.