Courtesy of Wesleyan Athletic Communications
MIDDLETOWN, Conn. – The No. 12-ranked Amherst College softball team swept Saturday's doubleheader, clinching 3-2 and 10-1 victories over Little III rival Wesleyan.
With the wins, Amherst improves to 14-2 on the season (2-0 NESCAC), while Wesleyan falls to 8-7 overall (0-2 NESCAC). Amherst returns to action on Friday, April 6 when they host Middlebury at 5 p.m. for game one of their three game weekend series.
GAME 1 HIGHLIGHTS (Amherst 3, Wesleyan 2):
- Danielle Rinaldi tallied a one-out double to left-center in the fourth, and then scored on an error by the right fielder. McDonald stepped up to the plate, and drilled an RBI single down the left-field line, scoring freshman Brenna Monroe from second, giving the hosts a 2-0 lead.
- The Mammoths responded with three unearned runs in the sixth, as junior Annie Murphy crossed home with one down on an RBI double to left-center by Audrey Hansen '21. Amherst knotted the game at 2-2 on a two-out RBI single to right-center by Alyson Plaman '21, with Hansen scoring from third base. Junior Kyra Naftel then scored the game-winning run on a wild pitch with two outs in the frame.
- McDonald (2-3) gave up no earned runs on nine hits in 6 1/3 innings in the circle for the Cardinals while striking out seven batters.
- Junior pitcher Lorena Ukanwa (8-0) stayed perfect on the season for Amherst, earning the complete-game win by allowing no earned runs and striking out nine hitters. She did not allow any walks, and Wesleyan compiled six hits against her.
- Sophomore Kate Kopatic went 2-for-4 at the dish for the Mammoths, as the visitors held a 9-6 lead in hits.
GAME 2 HIGHLIGHTS (Amherst 10, Wesleyan 1 – Six Innings):
- The Mammoths jumped onto the scoreboard with a three-run second, consisting of a two-run double down the left-field line by sophomore Annie McCluskey with no outs, and a one-run single to center by junior Sammy Salustri with two down, giving the squad an early 3-0 advantage.
- In the sixth, Amherst put the game in safe hands with seven runs, featuring a one-run single by Julia Turner '19, an RBI walk by Kopatic, a two-run single by Hansen, and a bases-clearing, three-run double by RonnieMarie Falasco '21, as Amherst built a 10-0 cushion.
- In the bottom of the sixth, McDonald recorded her 100th career hit for the Cardinals - a one-out, RBI single to center to send Katy O'Connor across home plate and score Wesleyan's lone run.
- Senior pitcher Gina Pagan (6-2) earned the complete-game win for the Mammoths, as she struck out three batters, walked two, and allowed seven hits and one run in six innings.
- Rinaldi (3-3) was charged with the loss for the Cardinals, allowing four earned runs on eight hits in 5 1/3 innings. She finished with four strikeouts and allowed one walk.
- McCluskey went a perfect 3-for-3 for the Mammoths with two doubles, two RBIs and a run.