AMHERST, Mass. – Amherst College pitcher Jackie Buechler '17 tossed a complete-game, two-hit shutout, and Donna Leet '15 went 3-for-4 from the plate with a pair of RBI as the Jeffs downed Williams College, 6-0 in Sunday afternoon's NESCAC West and Little Three softball game at the Amherst College Softball Field.
With the win, Amherst wins the season series and improves to 11-7 overall, 2-3 in NESCAC play. Williams moves to 15-5 on the season, 3-2 in league action.
Buechler was terrific in the circle as she improved to 5-4 on the season. She struck out five batters and scattered just two hits en route to her first shutout victory of the season.
Amherst got off to a quick start in the bottom of the first as Brianna Cook '16 doubled in Leet who had doubled earlier in the frame to give the Jeffs a 1-0 lead. In the bottom of the third, Amherst added to its lead when Ally Kido '18 walked and then advanced to third on a double down the right field line by Cook to give the Purple & White two runners in scoring position. Alyssa Sherwill '15 then reached on a fielder's choice bunt back up the middle and Kido beat the throw of Williams' pitcher Brooke Bovier to set the score at 2-0. A pair of strikeouts got the Ephs out of the inning without further damage.
In the top of the fourth, Kacey Cramer reached on a bunt singled, and Williams then loaded the bases following a pair of miscues by the Jeffs' defense to load the bases with two outs. Buechler then forced a groundout to third base to end the threat without allowing a run.
Amherst responded to the Ephs' threat with three runs in the bottom of the fourth. After Ashleigh Rutherford '16 was hit by a pitch, Idalia Friedson '15 singled to center field. A base hit up the middle by Kelsey Ayers '15 plated Rutherford, before a two-run triple to right center off the bat of Leet sent Friedson and Ayers across the dish to give the Purple & White a 5-0 advantage. Amherst twice had runners on third later in the frame, but Williams was able to get out of the jam.
In the bottom of the sixth, Amherst added its final run as Cook lifted a sacrifice fly to center field allowing Ayers to score after she led off the stanza with an infield base hit.
Ayers was 2-for-4 with two runs scored and an RBI, while Cook and Caroline Sealander '15 each went 2-for-3 at the dish, while Cook added two RBI.
Bovier (7-3) allowed six runs on 10 hits and struck out seven batters in the six-inning loss for the Ephs. Alison Michalik and Cramer registered Williams' two hits in the game.
Amherst returns to non-conference action Wednesday, April 15 when it hosts Smith College for a doubleheader. First-pitch of game one is set for 3:30 p.m. with game two starting at 5:30 p.m.