Softball

2017 RECORD 34-12; NESCAC: 10-2; NR -- NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP APPEARANCES: 4 NESCAC CHAMPIONSHIP APPEARANCES: 6

Softball Sweeps by Smith, 2-1, 8-0

Softball Sweeps by Smith, 2-1, 8-0

AMHERST, Mass. – The Amherst College softball team earned a 2-1 win in game one, and an 8-0 win in game two to seal a non-conference double header sweep of Smith College Wednesday afternoon at the Amherst Softball Field.

With the two wins, Amherst improves to 19-6 overall, while Smith moves to 6-16 on the season. The Mammoths travel to NESCAC and Little III rival Wesleyan University Friday, April 14 for a 5 p.m. tilt in Middletown, Conn.

GAME ONE HIGHLIGHTS

Game one featured a pitcher's duel through five full innings as neither team was able to plate a run until Amherst broke through in the bottom of the sixth inning.

After Lauren Tuiskula '17 executed a pinch-hit bunt single to lead off the home half of the sixth frame, she then moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Kyra Naftel '19, and raced to third on a passed ball. Andrea Sanders '20 then drove in the run when she cracked a triple to center field, giving the Mammoths a 1-0 lead. Annie McCluskey '20 then drove Sanders in with a sacrifice fly to left field to extend the lead to 2-0. Alena Marovitz '17 and Katie Kopatic '20 added back-to-back singles, but a line out to shortstop allowed Smith to end the inning.

With one out in the top of the seventh, Elodie Townsend lofted a home run to left field to cut the Pioneers' deficit in half. However, a strikeout, followed by a groundout to third base allowed the Mammoths to secure the hard-fought game-one win.

Jackie Buechler '17 pitched 4.0 innings of shutout softball, striking out five batters in a no-decision. Lorena Ukanwa '19 (4-2) earned the win pitching the final three frames and fanned four batters. Sanders, Sammy Salustri '19 and Julia Turner '19 each legged out triples for Amherst in the winning effort.

Natalie Burchat (3-8) suffered the game one loss for Smith, while Brittney Blokker was 2-for-3 at the plate with a pair of doubles.  

GAME TWO HIGHLIGHTS

In game two, Amherst struck early as Tuiskula led off the bottom of the first with a single to right and moved to second when Naftel reached on a fielder's choice. A base hit to left field by Ally Kido '18 loaded the bases, and Tuiskula scampered home on a wild pitch to give the Mammoths a 1-0 lead. From there, the Pioneers were able to get out of the jam using a line out, and ground out and strikeout to retire the side.

After playing a scoreless second and third inning, Amherst added to its lead with a six-run bottom of the fourth as Salustri tripled to right field to start off the inning. The Mammoths placed runners on the corners after Sanders reached on fielder's choice bunt, and then Kopatic and Turner drove in a pair of runs on back-to-back fielder's choices to give the hosts a 3-0 lead. Another fielder's choice loaded the bases for Naftel who ripped a two-out single to left scoring Gina Pagan '18 who pinch-ran for Kopatic. Kido then delivered a sacrifice fly to right field, before Marovitz plated two more runs on a two-run base hit to give Amherst a 7-0 lead. The Mammoths, who batted around the lineup in the stanza, were retired when Salustri grounded out to second.

Following a 1-2-3 top of the fifth, McCluskey doubled to lead off the Amherst fifth and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Sanders. McCluskey then scored on a fielder's choice to end the game at 8-0.

Pagan struck out six batters in the complete game effort to improve to 12-3 in the circle, while Rowan Turner (3-8) suffered the loss for Smith. Pagan allowed just two hits, while Naftel led the Mammoths at the plate with a 2-for-3 effort highlighted by a double.