CASTLETON, Vt. – Castleton push its win streak to a season-high seven games by sweeping Lyndon 8-0 and 6-3 Tuesday afternoon in the North Atlantic Conference finale for both squads.
Castleton received a pair of shutout pitching performances from Kayla Wood and Veronica Arnone in the opener as the team improved to 13-13 overall and 11-3 in the North Atlantic Conference. With the wins, the Spartans secured the second seed in this weekend's NAC Tournament. Lyndon St. will be the No. 5 seed as they conclude the regular season with a 6-6 mark in conference and a 7-19 record overall.
Brittany Brayman led the offense, going 3-for-6 with four RBI and two runs while Chelsea Grady went 3-for-5 with two RBI. Katie Gagne added two hits in the opener. Wood earned the win in game one by going 4.0 innings while allowing a single hit and striking out six. Arnone didn't allow a hit in two innings of relief.
Wood and Lyndon starter Katie Davis (North Haverhill, N.H.) kept the offenses silent until the bottom of the fourth. Kristi Lawless led off the frame with a walk and after sacrifice bunt moved her to second, Jessica Babcock drove her home with a single. Brayman followed with a two-run single and advanced to second on an error. She scored as Stephanie Sylvester reached on an error and the junior scored on a single by Grady for the 4-0 lead. Castleton added one more run in the frame to grab a 5-0 advantage.
Lyndon threatened in the top of the fifth as a pair of walks put two runners on with two outs. However, Arnone struck out the next batter looking to end the frame.
An inning later Brayman led off with a single to center field. Sylvester followed with a double down the right field line that bounced inbounds before entering foul territory. Grady drove home both runners with a doubled down the left field line to push the lead to 7-0. Gagne finished off the game with a run-scoring single for the 8-0 final.
Jena Finnegan (Keeseville, N.Y.) had the lone hit of the game for Lyndon and Davis took the loss.
In the second game, Lawless singled to lead off the bottom of the frame. Tori Fearon walked and a fielding error loaded the bases. Lyndon St. was able to get a force out at home for the second out but Grady earned an RBI walk to give Castleton the 1-0 lead.
The Hornets finally plated their first run in the top of the third as Jillian Emery (Johnson, Vt.) singled home Ashley Barski (St. Johnsbury, Vt.). The tie game was short lived as the Spartans responded in the bottom of the frame.
Fearon led off with a single to short and Jessica Babcock doubled down the right field line, scoring Fearon, and then reached third on a fielding error by the right fielder. Brayman lofted a sacrifice fly to center to give Castleton a 3-1 advantage.
The Spartans scored two more times in the bottom of the fourth on a two-run double by Brittany Brayman. Castleton then made it 6-1 as Grady scored on a wild pitch in the fifth.
Lyndon came away with two runs in the top of the seventh when Emery drove home Dakota Crane (Central, S.C.) and Shelby Sheridan (Enosburg Falls, Vt.) , who both singles, but it was too little too late as Cassidy Tedeschi induced a pop up to Sylvester at first base to end the game.
Gagne earned the win in the second game, going 4.0 innings and giving up five hits and one run while striking out three and walking three.