CLERMONT, Fla. – Audrey Hansen '21, Kate Kopatic '20, and Ronnie Falasco '21 each homered to lead the Amherst softball team as they claimed the first game of the day against Stockton University 4-2 before the Mammoths scored eight runs in a fifth inning explosion against Ohio Wesleyan in their second game, winning 11-6.
After an imposing batting effort, Amherst completes the sweep on Friday and improves to 7-1 on the season. They will enter their final day of spring break competition tomorrow (March 16th) when they take on New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) foe Tufts University at 11:45 AM before concluding their trip against Marian (Wisc.) at 2:00 PM in Kissimmee, Florida.
Amherst vs. Stockton
Hansen started off the Mammoths slugging day with a solo blast to centerfield in the second inning to put them up 1-0. Lorena Ukanwa '19 struck out the side (Angie Dunphy, Ashley Lobell, and Lilly James) in the bottom of the second to maintain the lead and get things rolling for the Purple & White.
After Amherst left three runners on base in the top of the third, Stockton tied up the game 1-1 when a single down the right field line from Leah McCray brought in Carli Shaw from second base. With a runner on first and third, Alexandra Cosenzo popped up to Kyra Naftel '19 to end the inning.
Naftel and Alyson Plaman '21 both singled to the pitcher in the top of the fourth but with runners on first and third, James made a couple key plays to halt the Mammoths offensive attack and end the inning with two runners stranded. The first lead change of the game came in the bottom of the fourth when Stockton's Megan Katzmar singled down the left field line with two outs to score Marissa Fulcher from second while Morgan DiVello advanced to third. The Ospreys run ended right after when Murzello fouled out to left.
The first batter of the fifth, Kopatic, answered with solo shot to left center field to bring the score back to 2-2. Stockton accrued three hits in the bottom of the inning but left three on base when Danica Peterson '22 struck out James to end the inning. Nicole Trezza '21 led off the sixth with a single to center field before Falasco's two run homer to left field capped off the win for the Mammoths (4-2).
Through the 32 at-bats, Falasco led Amherst after notching two of their nine hits and two of their four RBI's. Peterson received the win on the day with one inning pitched and two strikeouts. Talia Bloxham gets the save, pitching one inning with no hits and one strikeout. Stockton's Victoria Torp took the loss and moved to 0-4 on the season after she allowed three hits for two runs in three innings pitched.
Amherst vs. Ohio Wesleyan
After a deadlocked opening three innings in the Mammoths second game of the day, Ohio Wesleyan was the first to strike after a double steal from Nicole Peak and Aimee Duckworth plated the first run of the game. Amherst was quick to respond in the bottom of the fourth when a pair of singles from Sanders and Naftel scored the first two runs for the Purple & White.
The fifth inning combined for 11 runs total between the two sides, starting with the Battling Bishops when Duckworths sacrifice fly to left field advanced all runners, bringing home Cami Fisk. Madison Bridger was able to touch home after a pass ball while an error from the short stop allowed Madi Drabick to score on the following play, putting Ohio Wesleyan up 4-2 heading into the final two innings.
Amherst erupted for eight runs in the bottom of the fifth to place them back on top by a score of 10-4. Hansen got the rally started with a double to left field that scored Falasco before she reached home herself on an error by the center fielder a couple plays later. Salustri laced a shot to center field that scored Annie Murphy '19 before Sanders single to the pitcher plated Boynton. Naftel continued the scoring onslaught with an RBI single to left field, scoring two. A final single from Falasco and steal home (Emma Cape '22) distanced the Purple & White significantly.
A single from Bridger scored Hailey de la Vara in the sixth and a home run from Kennedy Sattler finished off the day for OWU while Virginia Ryan '22 scored the final run for the Mammoths on a pass ball in the sixth, finalizing the 11-6 win.
Amherst had four players with three hits each, ending with 18 total. Naftel finished with a game-high two RBI's in her five at-bats. The Battling Bishops accrued eight hits through their 27 plate appearances and three RBI's.
Bloxham (4-0) notes another win in her rookie campaign after only allowing four hits and three walks while striking out three in her five innings pitched. Draback falls to 0-3 after giving up 10 hits and four runs. Ohio Wesleyan was unable to strike out any of the Mammoths through 38 at-bats.