CASTLETON, Vt. --- The Thomas College softball team suffered its first loss at the North Atlantic Conference Softball Championship on Friday with a 6-1 loss to host and top-seed Castleton.
The Terriers (17-18) were held to just two hits offensively, both off the bat of freshman Cassie Contigiani (Belmont, N.H. / Belmont), and a pair of walks off Castleton pitching.
The Spartans (19-11) tallied a pair of runs in the second inning. Chelsea Grady led off the frame with a solo home run to left field and Katie Gagne scored on an RBI single by Sami Carlo.
Thomas got on the board with a run in the third inning. Contigiani led off the inning with a double to left field, then moved to third on a Madison Bentz (jr., Ottawa, Ill. / Ottawa Township) sacrifice bunt and scored on a sacrifice fly by Lexi Colpack (fr., Franklin, N.H. / Franklin).
Castleton extended the lead to 4-1 with a pair of runs in its half of the third inning. Brittany Brayman scored on a Gagne RBI single through the right side and Grady scored on a Kristi Lawler RBI single to center.
Jessica Babcock scored unearned runs in the fourth and sixth innings to push the Spartans' lead to 6-1.
Taylor Paquette (6-4) picked up the win in the circle for Castleton, allowing one run on two hits and a walk in 4 1/3 innings. Kayla Wood threw the final 2 2/3 innings, allowing just a walk while striking out three to collect her third save of the year.
Brayman and Grady had two hits apiece to lead the Spartans offensively.
Sonja Morse (jr., South China, Maine / Cony) fell to 15-7 overall after allowing five runs (three earned) on eight hits and a walk while striking out six in five innings.
Haley Littlefield (fr., Mount Desert Island, Maine / Mount Desert Island) threw the sixth inning, allowing one unearned run on one hit.
The Terriers will face fourth-seeded Husson (15-24) in an elimination game at 2 p.m. Saturday. The winner will face Castleton (19-11) at 4 p.m. If the Spartans are beaten, a winner-take-all championship game will be played at 1 p.m. Sunday.
The NAC tournament champion will earn an automatic bid into the upcoming 2016 Division III Softball Championship.