KISSIMMEE, Fla. – The Amherst softball team was edged in their opening match against Tufts University after the Jumbos three run rally later in the game sealed the 4-3 loss before the Mammoths scored nine to take down Marian (Wisc.) in their final spring break competition (9-6).
After wrapping up their Florida trip, Amherst will return to the northeast with a record of 8-2 and will look ahead to their double-header against Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) in their home opener on March 27th.
Amherst vs. Tufts
Tufts opened their season against Amherst in the first game on Saturday morning, jumping out to an early lead in the first when a pair of walks and a single loaded the bases for Mia Steinberg. Steinberg grounded out to third base but scored Edie Huling in the process.
After three up-three down in the top of the second, the Mammoths had two on with one out when Alyson Plaman reached first on a fielders choice and scored Scout Boynton '20 for Amherst's first run of the game.
The Mammoths rolled their momentum into the bottom of the second when they went up one off of Sammy Salustri's '19 single to left field, which scored Kate Kopatic '20 from second base. Both sides couldn't make anything happen in the fourth, however, the Jumbos began their run with Reegan Coleman scoring on a passed ball with two outs in the top of the fifth.
Amherst was halted after Sage Innerarity '22 and Kopatic lined out and grounded out to start the bottom of the inning. Tufts regained the lead in the top of the sixth after Jamie Stevens was hit by a pitch and Steinberg reached first on an error. Christian Cain was able to single to left to plate Jamie Stevens who scored after an error from the left fielder. Sofia Molina put the Jumbos up two with a single to left field that brought Steinberg home.
In the seventh inning, Lorena Ukanwa '19 was able to strike out Edie Huling and Stevens while also forcing a fly out to center field from Kristen Caporelli. Amherst began their last at-bat with Ronnie Falasco '21 blasting a triple to right field, fueling a possible Mammoth comeback. Falasco was able to walk in after a single to right field from Innerarity. However, the Jumbos held on for the win after a ground out and a pair of strikeouts capped off the game.
Talia Bloxham records her first loss this season (4-1), allowing five hits and four runs but striking out three Jumbos. Kristina Haghdan marks her first win on the year after going 6.2 innings with nine hits, three runs, and seven strikeouts.
Amherst vs. Marian (Wisc.)
Amherst came out firing in their concluding match of their Florida stint, scoring four runs in the second inning by the likes of Innerarity and Plaman. A wild pitch started the scoring efforts when Falasco reached home before a double from Innerarity scored Andrea Sanders '20, who was standing on third base. Plaman capped off the inning with single that brought around Kyra Naftel '19 and Innerarity.
After a standstill in the third, the Mammoths were next to strike again when Salustri reached first on an error by the second basemen, Trezza and Plaman both scored to put them up 6-0. Marian responded in the bottom of the inning with a double to center field that scored Jade Mardjetko and advanced Katy Croeker to third. The Purple & White were able to hold strong defensively after the one run slip when Rachel Soch popped up to third base.
Heading into the sixth, the Mammoths further separated themselves with three more runs off of four hits. Trezza recorded her first RBI in the game after singling to bring Plaman home before Audrey Hansen returned the favor with a double (8-1) to plate Trezza. Sanders concluded the offensive scoring for Amherst with an RBI single before propelling themselves into the bottom of the inning.
Marian sparked a rally in their second to last at-bat with three walks out of the first six batters. The first score came off of a single to center field from Alexa Rodriguez before a walk moved everyone up a base, making the score 9-3. Ally Fox struck a three-RBI double to bring Gianna Esposito, Rachel Soch, and Rodriguez around. However, the Amherst defense was able to thwart any remaining attacks when they struck out Lindsey Strainis and forced a pop-up to shortstop.
Amherst concluded with eight hits, six RBI's, and nine runs through 32 at-bats while Marian only recorded seven hits through 28 plate appearances. The Amherst pitchers struck out seven Sabre's while Marian only recorded one strike out through seven innings.