BRUNSWICK, Maine – The Amherst College softball team made history in the NESCAC Championship finishing in second place for the first time in program history after beating Bowdoin 3-1 in the semifinals, before falling to Williams, 9-1 in five innings in the championship contest Sunday afternoon at Bowdoin College.
With the split, Amherst concludes the season with its best record since 2012 finishing 28-10. The Mammoths now await a potential at-large bid to the NCAA Divisin III Championship.
SEMIFINALS HIGHLIGHTS – Amherst 3, Bowdoin 1
After two scoreless innings, the Polar Bears took a 1-0 edge on two hits. Ali Miller singled with one out and moved to second on a base-on-balls by Emily Griffin. Miller stole third and crossed home plate on Caroline Rice's RBI single to take the lead.
Following three more scoreless frames, the Mammoths rallied to score three runs that would be enough to secure the semifinal victory. Lauren Tuiskula '17 notched a base hit and moved to second on Sammy Salustri's '19 sacrifice bunt before Kyra Naftel '19 beat out an infield ground ball for a single. Following a strikeout, Alena Marovitz '17 reached first on a Bowdoin fielding error to load the bases. With two-outs, Andrea Sanders '20 collected three RBI on a bases-clearing triple to right center to give Amherst a 3-1 lead.
Gina Pagan '18 fanned the first batter in the seventh inning and forced two fly outs to pick up her 17th win in the circle.
CHAMPIONSHIP HIGHLIGHTS – Amherst 1, Williams 9
Williams was hot at the plate scoring in all five innings with its first run scored by Jessica Kim who led off the bottom of the first inning with a double. A groundout advanced Kim to third before Mackenzie Murphy singled to center for an RBI.
An inning later, the Ephs logged four runs on four hits and used a three-run home run to extend its lead to 5-0, before plating another run in the third.
Answering back, the Mammoths cut the deficit to 6-1 in the top of the fourth when Tuiskula notched her second base hit of the contest before advancing to second on Salustri's ground ball. Naftel moved Tuiskula to the corner on a bunt and Kate Kopatic '20 ripped a sacrifice fly to plate Amherst's lone run of the game.
Williams tallied three more runs in the bottom of the stanza and held the Mammoths scoreless in the top of the fifth to secure the 9-1, run-rule victory.
BY THE NUMBERS
- Bowdoin outhit the Mammoths 8-6 in game one, before the Ephs held a 12-3 edge in hits in the championship contest.
- Naftel and Sanders contributed with two hits a piece in game one, while Tuiskula, Kopatic, and Annie Murphy '19 were the only Mammoths to notch a hit in game two.
- Naftel ranks third all-time on the program's single-season hit list, while Tuiskula ranks second all-time in career on-base percentage with .451 and is one run shy of ranking third all-time on the program's single-season runs list.