AMHERST, Mass – The Amherst College softball team used a two-run walk off homerun from senior Brianna Cook in the bottom of the ninth to steal a 5-3 conference win over Middlebury in game one of the three-game series Friday afternoon.
Middlebury (5-4, 0-1 NESCAC)
Amherst (10-4, 1-0 NESCAC)
GAME HIGHLIGHTS: Amherst 5, Middlebury 3
- After a scoreless first inning, Middlebury was first on the board as they plated two runs in the top of the second before Amherst immediately answered back with two runs of their own to even the score. The Panthers used two doubles in the fourth to regain the lead before Amherst plated the tying run in the bottom of the seventh to send the game into extra innings. Both teams left a runner on in the eighth inning before Cook ended the game in the bottom of the ninth with a walk-off two-run homerun.
- In the top of the second, Siobhan O'Sullivan singled to centerfield before moving into scoring position on a pass ball. O'Sullivan would score two batters later after Hye-Jin Kim sent a two out single into left field. Emma Hamilton kept the two-out rally going with a shot to centerfield that scored Kim.
- First-year Sara Buck led off the bottom of the inning with a walk before Lauren Tuiskula '17 found her way to first on a fielder's choice. Annie Murphy '19 moved both runners over on a sacrifice bunt and senior Ashley Rutherford played small ball as well, scoring Buck on a suicide squeeze. Kyra Naftel '19 scored Tuiskula on an RBI single before ending the inning.
- Sarah Freyre doubled for the Panthers and Kim traded places with her for an RBI double to right center. Hamilton singled before Amherst turned a double play to end the inning.
- Neither teams put up a number in the fifth and sixth innings but the Purple & White tied the game in the bottom of the seventh when first-year Julia Turner led off the inning with a triple while Naftel tallied her second RBI of the night with a ground out to short to tie the game.
- Both teams had runners on in the eight but couldn't plate a run.
- In the bottom of the ninth, with two outs, Salustri drew a walk before Cook blasted a two-run walk off to claim the win.
- Gina Pagan earned the win in the circle, striking out five and allowing no runs on one hit in five innings in the circle.
BY THE NUMBERS
- Recording a single in the second inning, Naftel extended her current hit streak to 14 games.
- Turner paced the Amherst offense, going 2-for-4 while scoring the tying run to send the game into extra innings.
- Amherst outhit Middlebury, 9-8 while both teams were errorless.
- The Amherst College softball team returns to the field tomorrow, Saturday, April 2 for a doubleheader with Middlebury College to finish out the three-game series. The game's are set to begin at 12 p.m. and 2 p.m.