AMHERST, Mass. – After falling short in game one of its doubleheader, 6-2, the Amherst College softball team rallied in the nightcap against Smith College as a walk-off double by Caroline Sealander '15 lifted the Jeffs to a 7-6 win in extra innings Wednesday night.
After splitting its twinbill, Amherst is now 12-8 overall on the year and will return to the field Friday, April 17 to face Middlebury College on the road at 5 p.m. The Pioneers are now 8-14 this season.
GAME 1: SMITH 6, AMHERST 2
After a scoreless first inning in game one, the Pioneers capitalized on an Amherst miscue in the top of the second and scored two unearned runs on one hit. They increased their lead to 3-0 after four innings when Caroline Kushner doubled to left center to bring in Gina Martucci.
After another Smith run in the top of the sixth increased the visitor's lead to four, the Jeffs scored their first run in the bottom half of the inning. After consecutive singles by Brianna Cook '16 and Alyssa Sherwill '15, respectively, Sealander hit a RBI double to bring in Cook. However, the Pioneers registered two more runs in the top of the seventh to pull ahead by five. Kelsey Ayers '15 hit a one-out triple and later scored on a visitor's error later in the inning, but Smith halted the home team's comeback attempt as they prevailed, 6-2.
Sherwill led all players with three hits as she went 3-for-4 from the plate. Ayers, Cook, Sealander and Lauren Tuiskula '17 all added a hit each to bring Amherst's total to seven. Jackie Buechler '17 started in the circle and tossed four innings, allowing three runs (one earned ) on four hits and striking out five. Nicolette Miranda '16 pitched in relief and allowed three runs (one earned) as well.
The Pioneers recorded 11 hits as a team and were led by Kushner, Joanna Giordano and Edie Richardson with two each. Kushner was 2-for-3 with two RBI and a run scored, while Tori Brown and Ruth Zimmerman added a RBI and a hit each. Rowan Turner pitched a complete game and allowed just two runs (one earned) on seven hits and struck out two.
GAME 2: AMHERST 7, SMITH 6 (8 innings)
Smith jumped out to an early lead in the nightcap as Brown hit a home run over the left field fence in the top of the first. After being held scoreless for the first two innings, the Jeffs evened the score in the third on a RBI single by Ally Kido '18 to bring in Ayers. Both teams exchanged runs the next two innings as they entered the sixth knotted at two apiece.
With a runner on second base in the top of the eighth, a sacrifice bunt followed by an infield single by Tully brought in Allison Synder to give the Pioneers a 6-5 lead. The Jeffs retaliated in thrilling fashion in the bottom half of the inning after Idalia Friedson '15 led off with a single and Ayers took first base after getting hit by a pitch. With the bases loaded, the Jeffs hit into back-to-back fielder's choices with the runner at home getting thrown out. With two outs and facing a loss, Sealander once again stepped to the plate and doubled to left field to bring in Kido and Ayers.
Amherst totaled 14 hits and were led by Sealander's clutch four RBI performance. She went 2-for-5 from the plate with a run scored. Cook had a team-high three hits (3-for-5, RBI), while Kido and Marovitz added two hits and a RBI each. Gina Pagan '18 started in the circle and tossed 5.1 innings, allowing five runs (four earned) on five hits and struck out five. Tuiskula picked up the win in 2.2 innings of relief and allowed one unearned run and surrendered three hits.
Tully led the Pioneers in game two with a 3-for-4 performance and five RBI, while five others recorded a hit to bring the visitor's total to eight. Brown started and tossed 6.0 innings, allowing five runs (four unearned), and Natalie Burchat was credited with the loss after 1.2 innings of relief.