Contact: Mike O'Brien
AMHERST, Mass. – The Amherst College softball team swept non-conference opponent Keene State Friday in its regular-season home finale, pulling away with a 6-3 win in game one followed by a decisive 11-3 game two win in five innings.
With the sweep, the Jeffs improved to 17-7 overall while dropping Keene State to 10-12 on the year. They return to the field Tuesday, Apr. 22 and will head to Little Three rival Wesleyan University. The first pitch is scheduled for 5 p.m.
GAME 1: AMHERST 6, KEENE STATE 3
In the bottom of the first, Donna Leet '15 hit a two-out single up the middle and later stole second to get in scoring position. On the next at-bat, Brianna Cook '15 hit a hard liner deep to left field, hitting the top of the fence, inches away from a home run as she rounded second and drove in Leet.
After a scoreless second, the Jeffs tacked on another run in the bottom of the third. Leet started off the inning with a single up the middle. After back-to-back outs, Carolyn Miller '14 doubled down the left field line to bring in Leet for the second time in the game as Amherst took a 2-0 lead.
Keene State got on the board in the top of the fourth. After a walk and a single by Aliza Guerrero '17 led off the inning, Rachel Boynton '15 smacked one deep to the left center wall to bring in the first Owl score. Katie Newell '15 then stepped to the plate and cleared the bases with another long double that reached the right center wall as the visitors went ahead, 3-2.
Amherst regained the lead in the bottom of the fifth. With two outs and bases empty, Alyssa Sherwill '15 doubled to left center. Idalia Friedson '15 pinch ran and scored the game tying run following an Owls' error. With a runner on second, Nicollete Miranda '16 drove in the go-ahead run with a single through the left side.
Buechler remained strong on the mound as the Jeffs scored two insurance runs in the sixth to hold on for the 6-3 win. The first-year pitcher tossed a complete game, allowing three earned runs on seven hits and struck out four.
Offensively, the Jeffs registered 15 hits and were led by Leet who went a perfect 4-for-4 with three runs scored. Four others hit safely at least twice with five players recording one RBI.
The Owls were led by Boynton in game one with a 2-for-3 performance at the plate. She also recorded a RBI and scored once. Newell had a team-high two RBI and four others registered one hit to total seven as a team.
GAME 2: AMHERST 11, KEENE STATE 3 (5 inn.)
The Jeffs jumped out to a commanding 8-0 lead after the first inning en route to the decisive win. Kaitlin Silkowitz '14 started the rally with a lead-off single through the left side. Kelsey Ayers '15 singled on the next at-bat and Cook drove them both in with a two RBI double. The hits and runs continued to pile on as the home team scored eight times on seven hits.
Amherst starter Lauren Tuiskula '17 was terrific in three innings of work, surrendering just one hit without allowing a run as the Jeffs tacked on three more scores in the bottom of the third to go ahead, 11-0.
The Owls pieced together a rally in the top of the fifth with back-to-back singles from Stephanie Long '16 and Sara Bracken '15 to lead off the inning. Long eventually scored on a single by Morgan Fallon '16 and Anna Glassman '16 cleared the bases with a triple to right center as Keene State tallied three runs in the inning, but it wasn't enough.
Leading the way offensively for Amherst was Cook with a 2-for-3 performance with three RBI and two runs scored. Ayers, Silkowitz and Annie Apffel '17 all recorded two hits while four others reached base as eight Jeffs hit safely to tally 12 as a team.
Keene State recorded seven hits and was led by Long and Glassman, each going 2-for-3. Glassman added two RBI. Bracken, Molly Dussault '14 and Fallon all recorded a single.