Naftel Notches Walk-Off, Softball Sweeps Hamilton, 13-5 and 6-4

Naftel Notches Walk-Off, Softball Sweeps Hamilton, 13-5 and 6-4

AMHERST, Mass. – The Purple & White swept Hamilton in its NESCAC West conference doubleheader Sunday afternoon winning game one, 13-5 in five innings before recording a 6-4 come-from-behind win in the bottom of the sixth to secure the three-game series sweep. 

With the sweep, Amherst improves to 12-6 overall, 3-0 in NESCAC West play, while the Continentals drop to 7-13 on the season and to 0-3 in conference action. Amherst will take on MCLA Wednesday, April 5 for a non-conference doubleheader at home with game one beginning at 3:30 p.m. 

GAME ONE HIGHLIGHTS

Batting as the visiting team, the Continentals were first on the board with two runs in the opening inning of the contest, but Amherst answered back with two of its own in the bottom of the frame.

Tied at two, the Purple & White chipped away to mercy Hamilton scoring in every inning. Plating four runs in the bottom of the second frame, Andrea Sanders '20 led off the inning with a base on balls and collected two stolen bases before scoring on Lauren Tuiskula's double to left field. Ally Kido '18 collected a pair of RBI on a single to the right side and Kate Kopatic '20 used a ground ball to tally the final run of the inning. 

Amherst held the Continentals scoreless in the top of the third before tacking on two more runs. With bases loaded, Kyra Naftel '19 drove a line drive up the middle for an RBI before Alena Marovitz '17 extended to the lead to 8-2 on an RBI walk.

Hamilton produced three runs on three hits in the fourth, including a solo homerun, a triple, and a double to cut the deficit to five.

Relentless at the plate, Amherst connected on four hits to manufacture four more runs as Annie McClusky '20 and Naftel contributed with RBI single's up the middle. Kido collected another RBI on a hit-by-pitch while Marovitz added an RBI on a hard hit ball to the shortstop. 

Naftel notched a walk-off single to the pitcher with two outs and bases loaded to end the game in five and secure the 13-5 victory.

Lorena Ukanwa '19 (3-2) tossed a complete game striking out five batters faced in the winning effort. 

GAME TWO HIGHLIGHTS

Carrying its momentum into game two, Amherst was first on the scoreboard with two runs in the bottom of the first frame on a Marovitz fielder's choice and a Sanders double down the left field line.

The Continentals knotted the game at 2-2 on a two RBI single up the middle in the top of the second and took the lead in the fifth plating two more runs on a single to deep left field.

Entering the bottom of the sixth down by two, Julia Turner '19 reached first on a fielder's choice with bases loaded to score Sanders before Naftel belted a base clearing triple to put the Purple & White ahead by two.

Amherst held Hamilton scoreless in the seventh with a 1-2-3 inning to claim the NESCAC three-game series. 

Gina Pagan '18 (8-3) earned the win in the circle pitching three innings of relief allowing just one hit. Jackie Buechler '17 started the contest pitching 4.0 innings, striking out three in the outing.

BY THE NUMBERS

• The Purple & White out hit the Continentals in both games with a 13-5 edge in game one and  a 10-7 advantage in game two.
• Naftel paced the Purple & White at the dish going 8-for-9 on the day including six RBI, a run scored, and a triple.
• Naftel and Kido are on an eight game hitting streak for the Purple & White.