WATERVILLE, Maine – The Amherst College softball team won its first NESCAC playoff game against Bowdoin, 9-0 in six innings before falling to Williams, 8-2 in its second game during Saturday's action in the double-elimination NESCAC tournament.
With the split, Amherst improves to 27-9 on the season and will face top-seeded East division Bowdoin in the NESCAC Semifinals at Bowdoin Sunday, May 7 at 10 a.m.
GAME ONE HIGHLIGHTS - Amherst 9, Bowdoin 0 (6 inn.)
With the contest being halted after two scoreless frames on Friday, the Mammoths and Polar Bears started today's action in the top of the third.
Shutting down the Bowdoin offense in a 1-2-3 bottom half, Amherst collected four runs on four hits and used a Polar Bear error to extend its lead to 5-0 in the top of the fifth.
Ally Kido '18 led off the inning with a base hit before stealing second and advancing to third on a groundout to the right side. On a wild pitch, the catcher over threw the pitcher at the plate that allowed Kido to cross home plate for another run. Starting a two-out rally, Sammy Salustri '19 drew a walk and Naftel singled up the middle before Kate Kopatic '20 blasted a two RBI double to right center. Switching places with Kopatic, Alena Marovitz '17 drove in another run on a double to left field before the inning was retired.
Amherst tacked on four more runs in the sixth frame to end the contest early due to the run rule. Andrea Sanders '20 notched a base hit before Julia Turner '19 walked and Lauren Tuiskula '17 loaded the bases on a single through the left side. Salustri reached first on a fielder's choice that scored Sanders. Naftel used an RBI single and Kopatic drew an RBI walk to put the 8-0 mercy effect in order. Marovitz collected an insurance RBI on a single to left field for the final run of the contest.
Gina Pagan '18 improved her record to 16-4 on the season tossing a two-hitter in the winning effort.
GAME TWO HIGHTLIGHTS – Amherst 2, Williams 8
The Ephs tallied a run in each of the first three innings of action to take an early 3-0 lead, but Amherst cut the deficit to 3-2 in the bottom of the third.
Turner and Tuiskula notched back-to-back singles before Salustri loaded the bases on a base hit to right field that scored Turner on an Eph error. Loading the bases again, Naftel singled before Kopatic used a RBI sacrifice fly out to pull the Mammoths within one run.
Pulling away for the win, Williams logged five runs on five hits, including three extra base hits in the top of the fifth to extend its lead, 8-2. Unable to plate another run on either side, Williams secured the victory and will advance to the NESCAC Championship.
BY THE NUMBERS
• Amherst outhit Bowdoin 12-2 in game one, before the Ephs held a 12-6 edge in hits in game two.
• Naftel paced the Mammoths offense going 2-for-3 in both games at the dish. Marovitz and Sanders also notched a multi-hit game against the Polar Bears while Kopatic collected three RBI and a run scored.
• Naftel is just one hit shy of ranking third all-time on the program's single-season hit list.