AMHERST, Mass. – The Amherst College softball team captured its third NESCAC three-game series sweep with two victories over Little Three Rival Wesleyan, 1-0 and 10-1 in five innings Saturday afternoon at the Amherst Softball Field.
With the sweep, the Mammoths improve to 22-6 overall, 9-0 in NESCAC West play, while the Cardinals move to 9-16 on the season, 0-5 in the conference. Amherst will host Keene State Wednesday, April 19 for a non-conference doubleheader at 3:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.
GAME ONE HIGHLIGHTS
Game one featured a pitcher's duel as the Mammoths plated its winning run in the bottom of the third to secure the win.
After two scoreless innings, the Cardinals threatened to score, reaching first on a drop-third strike followed by another Mammoth error to put runners at the corners. Kendall Carr advanced to second with a no decision for Wesleyan, but Jackie Buechler '17 used a strikeout, pop up, and a ground out in the circle to hold the Cardinals scoreless.
In the bottom of the frame, Julia Turner '19 singled to center and stole second before Sammy Salustri '19 switched places with Turner, ripping an RBI double to left center that would plate the only run of the contest.
Buechler (4-0) had a solid performance in the circle, tossing a one-hitter and fanning five in the winning effort.
GAME TWO HIGHLIGHTS
In game two, the Mammoths struck early as Lauren Tuiskula led off the bottom of the first with a bunt single and advanced to second when the ball went off the glove of the first baseman. Salustri stayed hot at the plate notching a base hit to center field that would score Tuiskula.
Answering back in the top of the second, Rachel Kantor blasted a solo homerun to left field for the Cardinals to knot the score at 1-1.
Amherst regained the lead in the bottom of the second scoring three runs on four hits and a Wesleyan error. Annie Murphy '19 beat out an infield single and moved to second when Kate Kopatic '20 was hit by a pitch. Loading the bases, Scout Boynton '20 notched her first collegiate hit with a line drive to center field before Turner plated a run on an error. Tuiskula and Salustri used back-to-back RBI singles to extend the Mammoths lead, 4-1.
The Mammoths tacked on six more runs in the bottom of the fourth to end the game early due to the run-rule. With the bases loaded, Kyra Naftel '19 reached first on a fielder's choice that would score Turner before Annie McCluskey '20 and Andrea Sanders '20 notched back-to-back RBI singles. Continuing the one-out rally, Murphy reached on a fielder's that would score Naftel and Kopatic singled to left before the side was retired.
Lorena Ukanwa '19 (5-2) retired the final three batters the pick up her fifth win on the season. Pitching all five innings, Ukanwa struck out 11 of the 19 batters faced and allowed just three hits in the victory.
BY THE NUMBERS
• The Mammoths outhit the Cardinals 18-4 in the twin bill.
• Salustri paced the Amherst offense going 4-for-5 at the dish with three RBI, a run scored, and drew a walk in the doubleheader. Tuiskula and Boynton recorded a multi-hit game in the later contest, with Tuiskula scoring twice and adding an RBI.
• The Amherst pitching staff combined for 16 strikeouts and held the Cardinals to just four hits in 12 innings.